23 February 2009 Liquid-filled varifocal lens on a chip
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Abstract
In this study we developed a liquid-filled varifocal lens operated by electroactive polymer actuators. A silicon wafer was structured with micromachining processes to have four microfluidic chambers and a circular hole working as an aperture. The structured silicon wafer (opaque frame) was bonded to a glass wafer (transparent frame), and thus microfluidic channels were formed between them. Top surface of the main frame was covered with a transparent elastomer membrane, and the internal volume confined by the membrane and the two frames was filled with optical fluid. In order to operate this varifocal lens system, multilayered P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) [poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene-clorofluoroethylene)] polymer actuators were also developed, which show relaxor ferroelectric behavior, and thus produce large electrostrictive strain. When an electric field is applied, the multilayered P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) polymer actuators push the optical fluid so that the elastomer membrane together with the internal fluid changes their shape, which alters the light path of the varifocal lens. The original shape of the elastomer membrane is restored by the elastic recovery of the P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) actuators when an applied electric field is removed. We observed that with the applied voltage of 40 V the varifocal lens changes the optical power of more than 30 diopters within 20 ms. Optical analysis showed that the deformation shape of the optical membrane can be successfully used to design phone camera modules with auto-focus function.
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Seung Tae Choi, Jeong Yub Lee, Jong Oh Kwon, Seungwan Lee, Woonbae Kim, "Liquid-filled varifocal lens on a chip", Proc. SPIE 7208, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VIII, 72080P (23 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.811401; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.811401
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