Liquid lenses are used to correct for low order wavefront aberrations. Electrowetting liquid lenses can nowadays control defocus and astigmatism effectively, so they start being used for ophthalmology applications. To increase the performance and applicability, we introduce a new driving mechanism to create, detect and correct higher order aberrations using standing waves on the liquid interface.
The speed of a liquid lens is in general limited, because the liquid surface cannot follow fast voltage changes, while providing a spherical surface. Surface waves are created instead and with them undesired aberrations. We try to control those surface waves to turn them into an effective wavefront shaping tool.
We introduce a model, which treats the liquid lens as a circular vibrating membrane with adjusted boundary conditions. Similar to tunable acoustic gradient (TAG) lenses, the nature of the surface modes are predicted to be Bessel functions. Since Bessel functions are a full set of orthogonal basis functions any surface can be created as a linear combination of different Bessel functions.
The model was investigated experimentally in two setups. First the point spread functions were studied and compared to a simulation of the intensity distribution created by Fresnel propagated Bessel surfaces. Second the wavefronts were measured directly using a spatial light modulator. The surface resonance frequencies confirm the predictions made by the model as well as the wavefront measurements. By superposition of known surface modes, it is possible to create new surface shapes, which can be used to simulate and measure the human eye.
The application of Moiré effect for testing of a lithographic projection lens is reported. The arrangement presented allows measuring magnification, distortion, field curvature and telecentricity of the lens and can be used for its fine tuning. The method is based on two matched two-dimensional gratings, positioned in mutually conjugated planes; one of them can be translated. Visual interpretation of Moiré fringe pattern allows quick diagnostics of position errors exceeding critical dimension, whereas lateral scanning is applied for measuring of smaller magnitude errors. Field curvature and telecentricity are measured by 3D scanning. Presented results are in a good agreement with those obtained elsewhere.
The present research is part of an effort to develop tools that make the lens design process more systematic. In typical optical design tasks, the presence of many local minima in the optical merit function landscape makes design non-trivial. With the method of Saddle Point Construction (SPC) which was developed recently ([F. Bociort and M. van Turnhout, Opt. Engineering 48, 063001 (2009)]) new local minima are obtained efficiently from known ones by adding and removing lenses in a systematic way. To illustrate how SPC and special properties of the lens design landscape can be used, we will present the step-by-step design of a wide-angle pinhole lens and the automatic design of a 9-lens system which, after further development with traditional techniques, is capable of good performance. We also give an example that shows how to visualize the saddle point that can be constructed at any surface of any design of an imaging system that is a local minimum.