25 September 2014 Proof-of-concept demonstration of a miniaturized multi-resolution refocusing imaging system using an electrically tunable lens
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Abstract
Refocusing multi-channel imaging systems are nowadays commercially available only in bulky and expensive designs. Compact wafer-level multi-channel imaging systems have until now only been published without refocusing mechanisms, since classical refocusing concepts could not be integrated in a miniaturized configuration. This lack of refocusing capabilities limits the depth-of-field of these imaging designs and therefore their application in practical systems. We designed and characterized a wafer-level two-channel multi-resolution refocusing imaging system, based on an electrically tunable liquid lens and a design that can be realized with wafer-level mass-manufacturing techniques. One wide field-of-view channel (2x40°) gives a general image of the surroundings with a lower angular resolution (0.078°), whereas the high angular resolution channel (0.0098°) provides a detailed image of a small region of interest with a much narrower field-of-view (2x7.57°). The latter high resolution imaging channel contains the tunable lens and therefore the refocusing capability. The performances of this high resolution imaging channel were experimentally characterized in a proof-of-concept demonstrator. The experimental and simulated depth-of-field and resolving power correspond well. Moreover, we are able to obtain a depth-of-field from 0.25m until infinity, which is a significant improvement of the current state-of-the-art static multi-channel imaging systems, which show a depth-of-field from 9m until infinity. Both the high resolution and wide field-of-view imaging channels show a diffraction-limited image quality. The designed wafer-level two-channel imaging system can form the basis of an advanced three-dimensional stacked image sensor, where different image processing algorithms can be simultaneously applied to the different images on the image sensor.
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L. Smeesters, G. Y. Belay, H. Ottevaere, Y. Meuret, Michael Vervaeke, J. Van Erps, H. Thienpont, "Proof-of-concept demonstration of a miniaturized multi-resolution refocusing imaging system using an electrically tunable lens", Proc. SPIE 9192, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XV, 91920G (25 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061296; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2061296
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