Adaptive lenses provide a more compact, faster and lighter weight alternative to traditional imaging lens assemblies. Traditional imaging systems with zoom and/or auto-focus change focal length by the mechanical movement of two or more lenses elements along the optical axis. This is usually accomplished by moving lens elements or groups with a motorized cam. This is an inherently heavy, power hungry and expensive method.
In contrast, adaptive lens systems achieve these same effects by varying the focal length, instead of the position, of two or more adaptive lens elements. In terms of functionality, the fixed focal length and adjustable location of traditional lens systems are replaced by adjustable focal length and fixed location in adaptive systems.
In the illustration below, the curvature of the individual lenses are adjusted to change their individual focal lengths. By leveraging the optical power of static glass or polymer lens elements that surround the adaptive lens, small, coordinated changes in the focal lengths of the adaptive elements result in large changes in system focal length or magnification. Thus, large focal length and zoom ranges can be achieved with very little change in the system, as compared to a traditional zoom lens.
Holochip™ adaptive lenses leverage fluidic pressure to control the curvature of optical membranes. Each lens comprises an optical fluid encapsulated by a deformable membrane. Increasing fluidic pressure leads to a reduction in radius of curvature of the membrane, thereby increasing the focal power of the lens.
Fluidic lenses have always been subject to aberrations due to the effect of gravity on the lens fluid. The membrane encapsulating the lens fluid should ideally be defected into a spherical surface by fluid pressure, however, the force of gravity prevents this. When the optical axis of the lens is perpendicular to the direction of gravity, gravitational force acting on the fluid deforms the surface of the membrane. This deviation from a spherical surface manifests as optical aberrations generally in the form of coma.
To solve this problem, Holochip developed the new DIOPTAR™ family of lenses which incorporate Holochip's™ patented Anewtonian Lens Technology™ or ALT™. ALT™ enables large aperture fluidic lenses, free form gravitationally induced aberration, regardless of lens orientation. Position-independent aberration-free operation is achieved with a fluidic doublet design. Further, the doublet design allows DIOPTAR™ lenses to withstand far greater forces of acceleration without suffering from aberrations.