MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/ Scientists from Tyumen State University (TyumSU) have come up with liquid microlenses which mimic accommodative system of the eye, that is, they are able to focus due to changes in the surface curvature. This development might find its application in medicine and navigation systems, the press office of TyumSU said.
Researchers have synthesized a solution which by irradiation with a light beam aggregates into a drop und acts as a plane-convex lens. During the scientific conference, Photon, at the University of Leeds (UK) in September, Alexander Malyuk, a Research Assistant from the Laboratory of Photonics and Microfluidics at TyumSU gave a speech covering the recent innovation. "The surface curvature can be easily fine-tuned by varying the irradiation intensity. In other words, the more intense light we apply, the smaller the diameter of the lens becomes, the bigger the curvature, and the shorter the focal distance we get, and vice versa, the less intensive light that is applied, the greater the diameter of the lens becomes, the smaller the drop in curvature, and the larger the focal distance we get," Malyuk said.
That said, the limits of tunable focal distance are defined by starting solution properties as surface tension, viscosity, vapor pressure, and many others. According to Malyuk, the development can be successfully applied in microbiology and medicine, in navigation systems, in laser control and diagnostics, as well as in systems and devices for data transmission.
Two scientific articles summarizing the new results have already been prepared for publication, further studies devoted to boosting the efficiency of liquid microlenses are scheduled at TyumSU.
Over the last decade, adaptive liquid optics has drawn particular interest among scientists from all over the world. By comparison to solid analogous devices, liquid optics can focus an unlimited number of times without wearing away and what’s important is that the process can go faster due to the liquid’s fluidity. Thanks to the tunable focal distance within a broad range, the liquid lenses enable the reduction of the most complex optical systems.