Theoretical and experimental study of tunable liquid crystal lenses : wavefront optimization

Authors: Sova, Oleksandr
Advisor: Galstian, Tigran
Abstract: Adaptive optical systems have applications in various domains: imaging (zoom and autofocus), medicine (endoscopy, ophthalmology), virtual and augmented reality. Liquid crystal-based lenses have become a big part of adaptive optics industry as they have numerous advantages in comparison with traditional methods. Despite significant progress made over the past decades, certain performance and production limitations still exist. This thesis explores ways of overcoming these problems, considering two types of tunable lenses: liquid crystal lens using dielectric dividing principle and modal control lens.The introduction of this thesis presents the theory of liquid crystals and adaptive lenses, addressing existing liquid crystal lenses as well.In the first and second chapters of this work we demonstrate the results of theoretical modeling of double dielectric optically hidden liquid crystal lens design. We have studied the influence of geometrical parameters, such as thickness of liquid crystal cell, shape and dimensions of dielectrics forming the optically hidden layer, on the optical power of the lens. The dependences of optical power on the relative permittivity and conductivity of dielectrics were obtained. The behavior of such a lens in the presence of temperature variation was analyzed. We have further extended the concept of hidden dielectric layer to exploration of microstructures. Two systems of microlenses and microprisms have been simulated. The comparison of optical phase modulation dependence on spatial frequency of microstructures was obtained. Deviations from ideal wavefronts were evaluated in both cases. We also compared proposed designs with a standard interdigital electrode approach. Suggested devices could be used for continuous light steering or as tunable microlens arrays. In the third and fourth chapters we present our studies of tunable lenses based on modal control principle. We verified simulation results by comparing them with experimentally obtained dependences of optical power and root mean square spherical aberrations. We have explored the following modifications of conventional modal control lens: 1) additional powered ring electrode; 2) floating disk electrode; 3) combination of the first two cases. The influence of each modification was studied and explained. Simulation results showed that using the combination of additional electrodes along with optimal powering technique -the wavefront could be corrected within the entire clear aperture of the lens. Modified lens meets low aberration requirements for ophthalmic applications (for example,intraocular implant). Finally, a new design of a wide aperture tunable modal control Fresnel lens was investigated. Imaging performance of the proposed Fresnel lens was evaluated and compared with the reference lens built using traditional modal control approach. The prototype device demonstrated the increase of optical powerin comparison with a conventional modal control lens of the same aperture size. A theoretical model and numerical simulations of the Fresnel lens design were presented. Simulations demonstrated a possibility of noticeable image quality improvement obtained using optimized voltages and frequencies.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2020
Open Access Date: 21 December 2020
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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