The goal of the present research was to demonstrate the viability of an electro-optic adaptive microlens (EOAM) system in imaging applications requiring broadband illumination in the visible region. Previous works illustrate devices that are adaptive optics but are limited in capability. Most have been designed and optimized for a particular wavelength and many of them are polarization dependent. An adaptive optical system that will function over a broadband of visible wavelengths will be useful in many imaging applications. The tasks completed for EOAM system design and build required understanding and implementation of the imaging theory, the materials' properties, the control voltages, the fabrication processes, and finally understanding and implementation of the imaging theory for testing. Single cell transmission devices were used for initial characterization of the polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) process. Three iterations of the EOAM devices with PDLC were built on silicon wafers and 26 devices were optically tested. The new chemical mechanical planarization process was implemented for the second and third builds. For optical device testing the phase shift was extracted using a newly developed method for blind phase extraction. The development of a design model for the EOAM system and validating it with the images formed by a real electro-optic adaptive microlens system has provided the knowledge base needed for implementation of adaptive electro-optic lenses for the visible region, and a process which can be used for further improvement of the microsystem. The model parameters can be adjusted for new electro-optic materials that may become available that do not have the limitations of PDLC.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Electrooptics--Materials; Integrated optics; Optics, Adaptive; Lenses
Microsystems Engineering (Ph.D.)
Department, Program, or Center
Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)
Ewbank, Dale, "Electro-optic adaptive microlens" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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