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Micro Lenses

Independently Tunable Microlenses and -arrays on the basis of an AlN/ Diamond Compound


diamantlinsenarrayThis project investigates the applicability of new material compounds for advanced micro-optics and simultaneously evaluates novel methods for the tuning of micro-optic components.
Chief goal is the development of optical imaging micro-systems with an extended optical capacity. This can be obtained with the help of active micro lenses and micro lens arrays that consist of individually tunable components.

Apart from tuning the lens's focal length, it is also possible to deflect single rays or a bundle of rays by tilting and skewing of singular components. As a result the object space can be scanned three-dimensionally, thus providing a highly resolved image that is made of a series of sequential single images. Diamond membranes coated with aluminum nitride (AlN) are the new carriers for these active micro-optic components.

Due to this AlN/ diamond compound, the tuning speed can be increased over small distances through piezoelectric and thermal effects. In combination with micro-mechanical actuators (thermo-mechanical ones or electrostatic ones), it is also possible to obtain large travel ranges with slower tuning speeds.

zweifacettensystemTwo facet system for high quality imaging of large object spaces. Two tunable micro lenses are integrated in one membrane micro lens, which deflects the rays for each single lens in the sense of a prism. The simultaneous adaptation of the focal length of the single facets provides a high quality over the entire tuning range.


The optical components and the actuators are built into this active micro-optic system making it compact and actively tunable. As opposed to passive micro-optics, the synchronized dynamic tilting and the adaptation of the micro lens’s focal length, in particular, increase the imaging quality significantly.

This concept provides new options for industrial application. In medical science the lens arrays can be included into the scanning optics of endoscopes. In camera technology, they can be used for tunable ‘compound eye’ lenses.


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