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Optical analysis of miniature lenses with curved imaging surfaces

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Abstract

Miniature cameras for consumer electronics and mobile phones have been, and continue to be, in fast development. The system level requirements, such as manufacturing cost, packaging, and sensor characteristics, impose unique challenges for optical designers. In this paper, we discuss the potential optical benefits of having a curved image surface rather than a flat one. We show that curved sensor technology allows for optically faster lens solutions. We discuss trade-offs of several relevant characteristics, such as packaging, chief ray angle, image quality, and tolerance sensitivity. A comparison of a benchmark flat field lens, and an evaluation design imaging on a curved surface and working at f/1.6, provides useful specific insights. For a given image quality, departing from a flat imaging surface does not allow significantly reducing the total length of a lens.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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