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Proceedings Paper

Fast and precise continuous focusing with focus tunable lenses
Author(s): Selina Casutt; Michael Bueeler; Mark Blum; Manuel Aschwanden
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Paper Abstract

Focusing in milliseconds without translational mechanics involved is possible with electrically tunable lenses. Fast shape-changing lenses enable fast imaging systems which can focus at distances from infinity to a few centimeters with a high optical quality. Furthermore, rapid laser processing in three dimensions is realized without mechanical translation of the focusing lens or the sample. With tunable lenses the entire optics can be made compact, robust and abrasion-free. Different configurations are discussed, how to integrate the tunable lens in the optical path. For machine vision applications, the achievable optical quality depends on the chosen combination of the tunable lens with a fixed focal length lens and a camera. It is recommended to use a fixed focus lens with a short distance between the stop position and the front of the lens. Furthermore, important points are presented how to achieve optimal performance in laser processing applications such as orientation and position of the tunable lens and the diameter of the beam incident on the lens. Additionally, different approaches will be discussed for monitoring the focal length of the tunable lens. The focal length of the tunable lens is sensitive to temperature changes, as the lens material is a fluid. However, in contrast to conventional lenses, the focal length of the tunable lens can be corrected electrically. For that purpose, the tunable lens exhibits an integrated temperature sensor for temperature compensation. Also optical feedback solutions will be presented for applications requiring highest precision and tracking of the absolute focal length value.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8982, Optical Components and Materials XI, 89820Y (7 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2037516
Show Author Affiliations
Selina Casutt, Optotune AG (Switzerland)
Michael Bueeler, Optotune AG (Switzerland)
Mark Blum, Optotune AG (Switzerland)
Manuel Aschwanden, Optotune AG (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8982:
Optical Components and Materials XI
Michel J. F. Digonnet; Shibin Jiang, Editor(s)

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