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Title: An arrayed optofluidic system for three-dimensional (3D) focal control via electrowetting

A new lens capability for three-dimensional (3D) focal control is presented using an optofluidic system consisting ofn × narrayed liquid prisms. Each prism module contains two immiscible liquids in a rectangular cuvette. Using the electrowetting effect, the shape of the fluidic interface can be rapidly adjusted to create its straight profile with the prism’s apex angle. Consequently, an incoming ray is steered at the tilted interface due to the refractive index difference between two liquids. To achieve 3D focal control, individual prisms in the arrayed system are simultaneously modulated, allowing incoming light rays to be spatially manipulated and converged on a focal point located atPfocal(fx,fy,fz) in 3D space. Analytical studies were conducted to precisely predict the prism operation required for 3D focal control. Using three liquid prisms positioned on thex-,y-, and 45°-diagonal axes, we experimentally demonstrated 3D focal tunability of the arrayed optofluidic system, achieving focal tuning along lateral, longitudinal, and axial directions as wide as 0 ≤ fx ≤ 30 mm, 0 ≤ fy ≤ 30 mm, and 500 mm ≤ fz ≤ ∞. This focal tunability of the arrayed system allows for 3D control of the lens’s focusing power, which could not be attained by solid-type optics without the use of bulky and complex mechanical moving components. This innovative lens capability for 3D focal control has potential applications in eye-movement tracking for smart displays, autofocusing of smartphone cameras, or solar tracking for smart photovoltaic systems.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Optical Society of America
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Optics Express
1094-4087; OPEXFF
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 17677
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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