ABSTRACT: Miniature lenses with a tunable focus are essential components for many modern applications involving compact optical systems. While several tunable lenses have been reported with various tuning mechanisms, they often face challenges with respect to power consumption, tuning speed, fabrication cost, or production scalability. In this work, we have adapted the mechanism of an Alvarez lens - a varifocal composite lens in which lateral shifts of two optical elements with cubic phase surfaces give rise to a change in the optical power - to construct a miniature, microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-actuated metasurface Alvarez lens. Implementation based on an electrostatic MEMS generates fast and controllable actuation with low power consumption. The utilization of metasurfaces - ultrathin and subwavelength-patterned diffractive optics - as optical elements greatly reduces the device volume compared to systems using conventional freeform lenses. The entire MEMS Alvarez metalens is fully compatible with modern semiconductor fabrication technologies, granting it the potential to be mass-produced at a low unit cost. In the reported prototype operating at 1550 nm wavelength, a total uniaxial displacement of 6.3 µm was achieved in the Alvarez metalens with a direct-current (DC) voltage application up to 20 V, which modulated the focal position within a total tuning range of 68 µm, producing more than an order of magnitude change in the focal length and a 1460-diopter change in the optical power. The MEMS Alvarez metalens has a robust design that can potentially generate a much larger tuning range without substantially increasing the device volume or energy consumption, making it desirable for a wide range of imaging and display applications.
Project description:Wide-angle optical systems play a vital role in imaging applications and have been researched for many years. In traditional lenses, attaining a wide field of view (FOV) by using a single optical component is difficult because these lenses have crucial aberrations. In this study, we developed a wide-angle metalens with a numerical aperture of 0.25 that provided a diffraction-limited FOV of over 170° for a wavelength of 532 nm without the need for image stitching or multiple lenses. The designed wide-angle metalens is free of aberration and polarization, and its full width of half maximum is close to the diffraction limit at all angles. Moreover, the metalens which is designed through a hexagonal arrangement exhibits higher focusing efficiency at all angles than most-seen square arrangement. The focusing efficiencies are as high as 82% at a normal incident and 45% at an incident of 85°. Compared with traditional optical components, the proposed metalens exhibits higher FOV and provides a more satisfactory image quality because of aberration correction. Because of the advantages of the proposed metalens, which are difficult to achieve for a traditional single lens, it has the potential to be applied in camera systems and virtual and augmented reality.
Project description:Metalenses as miniature flat lenses exhibit a substantial potential in replacing traditional optical component. Although the metalenses have been intensively explored, their functions are limited by poor active ability, narrow operating band and small depth of field (DOF). Here, we show a dielectric metalens consisting of TiO<sub>2</sub> nanofins array with ultrahigh aspect ratio to realize active multiband varifocal function. Regulating the orbital angular momentum (OAM) by the phase assignment covering the 2π range, its focal lengths can be switched from 5 mm to 35 mm. This active optical multiplexing uses the physical properties of OAM channels to selectively address and decode the vortex beams. The multiband capability and large DOFs with conversion efficiency of 49% for this metalens are validated for both 532 nm and 633 nm, and the incidence wavelength can further change the focal lengths. This non-mechanical tunable metalens demonstrates the possibility of active varifocal metalenses.
Project description:PURPOSE:To evaluate the impact of soft contact lens eye-fit on optical power by computational modelling and to produce correction maps for reversing this impact during the design process. METHODS:Finite element models of spherical and toric hydrogel contact lenses at varying nominal powers of -20 D to +20 D, base curves radii (R1b) of 8.2, 8.5, 8.8 mm, and overall diameters (d3) of 14.5, 15.0, 15.5 mm were generated. Lenses were fitted to computational eye models generated with human eyes' topography data. Combined eye-lens simulations were run under the boundary conditions of the tears' surface tension between the contact lens and the eye in addition to the eyelid blink pressure. Lens optical zone power changes were calculated through computational light-ray tracing methods following each simulation. RESULTS:Effective power changes (EPC) were affected negatively for all toric simulated lenses with power varying from -20 D to +20 D. Spherical lenses demonstrated similar behaviour, however with some positive EPC over the power range from -20 D to -10 D for spherical power (SPH) lenses. EPC assessment was between +0.25 D and -0.5 D for most lenses, however, lenses with prescriptions from +10 D to +20 D incurred EPC outside this range. The spherical lenses showed a maximum effective power change of +1.046 ± 0.338 D (Average Eye), and a minimum of -3.278 ± 0.731 D (Steep Eye). Similarly, the toric lenses showed a maximum of +1.501 ± 0.338 D (Average Eye), and a minimum of -3.514 ± 0.731 D (Steep Eye). EPC trends, along with minimum and maximum power, generally increased negatively as nominal lens prescription increased positively. Contact lens base curve selection affected the assessed effective power change for both spherical and toric lenses. The effect from lens total diameter for spherical lenses was less substantial than that for toric lenses. CONCLUSIONS:This study considered the impact of soft contact lens design parameters on effective optical power changes (EPC) after eye-fit. Spherical lenses experienced more EPC of clinical significance (>0.25 D) than toric lenses. Both types of lenses, spherical and toric (simple astigmatism), demonstrated similar trends in EPC on fitting from -20 D to +20 D, with lenses in the extremely positive and the extremely negative prescriptions demonstrating the highest EPCs. The lens base curve impacted the extent of EPC observed, with flatter base curves experiencing less power change. Diameter proved to impact toric lenses more than spherical ones, however generally the diameter has less effect on power change than base curve selection.
Project description:Lens regeneration studies in the adult newt suggest that molecular aspects of lens regeneration are complete within 5 weeks of lentectomy. However, very little is known about the optical properties of the regenerated lens. In an aquatic environment, the lens accounts for almost all of the refractive power of the eye, and thus, a fully functional lens is critical. We compared the optical properties of 9- and 26-week regenerated lenses in the red spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, with the original lenses removed from the same eyes. At 9 weeks, the regenerated lenses are smaller than the original lenses and are histologically immature, with a lower density of lens proteins. The 9 week lenses have greater light transmission, but significantly reduced focal length and refractive index than the original lenses. This suggests that following 9 weeks of regeneration, the lenses have not recovered the functionality of the original lens. By 26 weeks, the transmission of light in the more mature lens is reduced, but the optical parameters of the lens have recovered enough to allow functional vision.
Project description:Focal adjustment and zooming are universal features of cameras and advanced optical systems. Such tuning is usually performed longitudinally along the optical axis by mechanical or electrical control of focal length. However, the recent advent of ultrathin planar lenses based on metasurfaces (metalenses), which opens the door to future drastic miniaturization of mobile devices such as cell phones and wearable displays, mandates fundamentally different forms of tuning based on lateral motion rather than longitudinal motion. Theory shows that the strain field of a metalens substrate can be directly mapped into the outgoing optical wavefront to achieve large diffraction-limited focal length tuning and control of aberrations. We demonstrate electrically tunable large-area metalenses controlled by artificial muscles capable of simultaneously performing focal length tuning (>100%) as well as on-the-fly astigmatism and image shift corrections, which until now were only possible in electron optics. The device thickness is only 30 μm. Our results demonstrate the possibility of future optical microscopes that fully operate electronically, as well as compact optical systems that use the principles of adaptive optics to correct many orders of aberrations simultaneously.
Project description:In this work, we describe a new reversible photoalignment effect for the director in nematic liquid crystals that provides an approach for the creation of lenses whose optical power can be recorded and erased. The possibility of creating a rewritable lens has very important practical implications, for example, in the ophthalmic lens industry. A rewritable ophthalmic lens could be a convenient solution for patients whose compensation needs change over time due to age-related physiological changes, such as the onset and progression of presbyopia. Using rewritable lenses, small lens power corrections could be implemented through a rewriting procedure on the mounted lens without resurfacing or manufacturing and mounting a new lens. More generally, this new effect multiple potential applications in the creation of rewritable optical systems, such as reconfigurable optical networks, index-tunable antireflective coatings and optically rewritable phase gratings.
Project description:Varifocal lenses, conventionally implemented by changing the axial distance between multiple optical elements, have a wide range of applications in imaging and optical beam scanning. The use of conventional bulky refractive elements makes these varifocal lenses large, slow, and limits their tunability. Metasurfaces, a new category of lithographically defined diffractive devices, enable thin and lightweight optical elements with precisely engineered phase profiles. Here we demonstrate tunable metasurface doublets, based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), with more than 60 diopters (about 4%) change in the optical power upon a 1-?m movement of one metasurface, and a scanning frequency that can potentially reach a few kHz. They can also be integrated with a third metasurface to make compact microscopes (~1?mm thick) with a large corrected field of view (~500??m or 40 degrees) and fast axial scanning for 3D imaging. This paves the way towards MEMS-integrated metasurfaces as a platform for tunable and reconfigurable optics.
Project description:Optical analog computing offers high-throughput low-power-consumption operation for specialized computational tasks. Traditionally, optical analog computing in the spatial domain uses a bulky system of lenses and filters. Recent developments in metamaterials enable the miniaturization of such computing elements down to a subwavelength scale. However, the required metamaterial consists of a complex array of meta-atoms, and direct demonstration of image processing is challenging. Here, we show that the interference effects associated with surface plasmon excitations at a single metal-dielectric interface can perform spatial differentiation. And we experimentally demonstrate edge detection of an image without any Fourier lens. This work points to a simple yet powerful mechanism for optical analog computing at the nanoscale.
Project description:Active metasurfaces, whose optical properties can be modulated post-fabrication, have emerged as an intensively explored field in recent years. The efforts to date, however, still face major performance limitations in tuning range, optical quality, and efficiency, especially for non-mechanical actuation mechanisms. In this paper, we introduce an active metasurface platform combining phase tuning in the full 2? range and diffraction-limited performance using an all-dielectric, low-loss architecture based on optical phase change materials (O-PCMs). We present a generic design principle enabling binary switching of metasurfaces between arbitrary phase profiles and propose a new figure-of-merit (FOM) tailored for reconfigurable meta-optics. We implement the approach to realize a high-performance varifocal metalens operating at 5.2??m wavelength. The reconfigurable metalens features a record large switching contrast ratio of 29.5?dB. We further validate aberration-free and multi-depth imaging using the metalens, which represents a key experimental demonstration of a non-mechanical tunable metalens with diffraction-limited performance.
Project description:Laser scanning microscopes can be miniaturized for in vivo imaging by substituting optical microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices in place of larger components. The emergence of multifunctional active optical devices can support further miniaturization beyond direct component replacement because those active devices enable diffraction-limited performance using simpler optical system designs. In this paper, we propose a catadioptric microscope objective lens that features an integrated MEMS device for performing biaxial scanning, axial focus adjustment, and control of spherical aberration. The MEMS-in-the-lens architecture incorporates a reflective MEMS scanner between a low-numerical-aperture back lens group and an aplanatic hyperhemisphere front refractive element to support high-numerical-aperture imaging. We implemented this new optical system using a recently developed hybrid polymer/silicon MEMS three-dimensional scan mirror that features an annular aperture that allows it to be coaxially aligned within the objective lens without the need for a beam splitter. The optical performance of the active catadioptric system is simulated and imaging of hard targets and human cheek cells is demonstrated with a confocal microscope that is based on the new objective lens design.