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Varifocal liquid-filled microlens operated by an electroactive polymer actuator

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Abstract

We designed, fabricated, and characterized varifocal microlenses, whose focal length varies along with the deformation of a transparent elastomer membrane under hydraulic pressure tailored by electroactive polymer actuators. The microfluidic channel of the microlens was designed to be embedded between silicon and glass so that transient fluctuation of the optical fluid and elastomer membrane is effectively suppressed, and thus the microlens is optically stabilized in a reduced time. Multilayered poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene-clorotrifluoroethylene) actuators were also developed and integrated onto the microfluidic chambers. We demonstrated that the developed microlenses are suitable for use in microimaging systems to make their foci tunable.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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