Electrowetting lenses, commonly referred to as liquid lenses, are a relatively recent development in the vision industry and have demonstrated immense potential across a number of industrial applications. While liquid lenses have existed for some time, electrowetting is entirely new process, enabling complete control over the lens.
So how do electrowetting lenses work and what are they used for?
How Do Electrowetting Lenses Work?
Most electrowetting lenses consist of two immiscible, optically defect-free liquids in a tightly sealed container. On each side of the container is a flat, programmable electrode capable of producing a controlled amount of voltage.
Essentially, the contact point between the two liquids creates a lens when the right voltage is applied, depending on the type and shape of lens desired. The controlled voltage comes from both electrodes simultaneously, putting varying pressures on the contact point of the two liquids, shaping this contact point into the shape of the lens.
What are Electrowetting Lenses Used For?
Electrowetting lenses can be rapidly changed in real time to the proper lens shape needed. They can be shaped as converging, flat or diverging lenses and still provide high image quality.
In fact, these lenses can often autofocus in 20ms or less in open loop mode – something nearly unattainable for their mechanical counterparts. Given their ability to take the shape of a wide number of lenses, electrowetting lenses can be used in a wide variety of applications. But their speed and precision makes them great for applications that call for autofocus and optical image stabilization.
Electrowetting lenses are truly a breakthrough in vision technology. They can be applied in virtually any industrial application and have enormous potential to provide high quality imaging while retaining the flexibility to perform different imaging functions.
This exciting technology can take industrial vision applications to new heights. While electrowetting lenses are still new, they are being adopted rapidly.
If you need extremely fast autofocus or superior optical image stabilization for your application, you can view electrowetting lenses from Phase 1 Technology here.