Voltage-programmable liquid optical interface

Brown, Carl, Wells, Gary, Newton, Michael and McHale, Glen (2009) Voltage-programmable liquid optical interface. Nature Photonics, 3 (7). pp. 403-405. ISSN 1749-4885

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2009.99


Recently, there has been intense interest in photonic devices based on microfluidics, including displays and refractive tunable microlenses and optical beamsteerers, that work using the principle of electrowetting. Here, we report a novel approach to optical devices in which static wrinkles are produced at the surface of a thin film of oil as a result of dielectrophoretic forces. We have demonstrated this voltage-programmable surface wrinkling effect in periodic devices with pitch lengths of between 20 and 240 µm and with response times of less than 40 µs. By a careful choice of oils, it is possible to optimize either for high-amplitude sinusoidal wrinkles at micrometre-scale pitches or more complex non-sinusoidal profiles with higher Fourier components at longer pitches. This opens up the possibility of developing rapidly responsive voltage-programmable, polarization-insensitive transmission and reflection diffraction devices and arbitrary surface profile optical devices.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2012 10:41
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:33
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5159

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