New! View global litigation for patent families

WO2005040865A1 - Optical element for variable setting of the focal length on an optical device and optical device - Google Patents

Optical element for variable setting of the focal length on an optical device and optical device

Info

Publication number
WO2005040865A1
WO2005040865A1 PCT/EP2004/011930 EP2004011930W WO2005040865A1 WO 2005040865 A1 WO2005040865 A1 WO 2005040865A1 EP 2004011930 W EP2004011930 W EP 2004011930W WO 2005040865 A1 WO2005040865 A1 WO 2005040865A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
medium
optical
element
means
interface
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2004/011930
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Dr. Andreas Obrebski
Original Assignee
Carl Zeiss Surgical Gmbh
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B26/00Optical devices or arrangements using movable or deformable optical elements for controlling the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light, e.g. switching, gating, modulating
    • G02B26/004Optical devices or arrangements using movable or deformable optical elements for controlling the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light, e.g. switching, gating, modulating based on a displacement or a deformation of a fluid
    • G02B26/005Optical devices or arrangements using movable or deformable optical elements for controlling the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light, e.g. switching, gating, modulating based on a displacement or a deformation of a fluid based on electrowetting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B3/00Simple or compound lenses
    • G02B3/12Fluid-filled or evacuated lenses
    • G02B3/14Fluid-filled or evacuated lenses of variable focal length

Abstract

An optical element (60) for variable setting of the focal length in an optical device is disclosed, with a housing container (62) which has a first medium (66) which is flexible in form and a second medium (67) which is flexible in form, whereby said media are non-miscible, the media are spatially located in the housing container (62), the second medium (67) at least partly rests on at least one support surface (68) within the housing container (62) and both media are in contact at at least one boundary surface (69). Means (70) for altering the size and/or the shape of the boundary surface (69) between the two media are also provided. According to the invention, the above may be achieved with a simple construction and in an energy-sparing manner, whereby the means (70) for altering the boundary surface(s) (69) is embodied to act on the first and/or second medium (66, 67), the means (70) for altering the boundary surface(s) (69) is embodied for the generation of a pressure on the first and/or second medium (66, 67) and that one medium may be displaced, in particular, pressurised by said means (70) at at least one boundary surface (69) in at least one preferred direction (61) towards the other medium.

Description

description

An optical element for variably adjusting the focal length in an optical device and optical device

The present invention first relates to an optical element for variably adjusting the focal length in an optical device according to the preamble of claim 1 and according to the preamble of patent claim 8. The invention further relates to an optical device.

variable optical elements are already known from the prior art. Such known solution is shown in FIG. 1 The known optical element 10 has a droplet 13 of a conducting liquid which is applied on an insulating layer 12th The insulating layer 12 is again a flat electrode 11. In the presence of an electric field 14, through a conductor between the liquid 13 and the electrode 11 is caused applied voltage can be substantially increased the wetting covered. As is apparent from Figure 1, the drop 13 of conductive liquid in the rest state (Figure 1a), a substantially more compact and of smaller area contour than in the case of application of a voltage (Figure 1 b) of the case. This well-known phenomenon is referred to as Elektrobenetzen (electro-wetting).

An implementation of this phenomenon is known, for example, from US-A-5, 659.330. Is a display device will be described, are arranged in the individual drops of a liquid conductor on an insulating layer. Below this insulating layer electrodes are present. By the selective generation of an electric field, the shape of each drop of the liquid director can be varied, whereby a color pixel of an image is generated. However, this known solution is not suitable for optical elements in the form of adjustable lens elements. Especially transparent electrodes would be required for such use, so that the optical elements in their entirety would be structurally complex and costly.

A solution such as the type of optical elements in the field of lens elements described above may be employed is described in DE 698 04 119 T2. The described therein invention, which is also exemplified in Figure 2, is in the field adjustable focus lenses, and in particular to the field of liquid lenses with an adjustable, electrically controlled focus. It should be possible with the described there lens element to adjust the focus with the aid of the so-called "electrowetting" continuously. According to this known solution, an optical element 20 is provided for variably adjusting the focal length in conjunction with Figure 2. When the focal length is. generally by the distance of the focal point to the plane of the optical element, for example, to the lens plane.

The optical element 20 comprises a receptacle 22 which includes a first electrically conductive fluid 28, and a drop of a second, insulating liquid 29th The two liquids 28, 29 are immiscible and spatially fixed in the receiving container 22nd The two liquids 28, 29 contact each other at an interface 30. The drops of the second liquid 29 is disposed concentrically about the optical axis 21 of the optical element 20 around the optical axis 21 also through a transparent region 24 of the bottom 23 of the receptacle 22 runs. The second liquid 29 is located at least partially on to electrodes 25 which are located within the receptacle 22nd The electrodes 25 are in turn provided with an insulating layer 26th Finally, the known optical element 29 20 has means 31 for changing the interface 30 between the liquids 28 on. This means 31, an electric field 28 and the electrodes 25 are generated between the conductive liquid 27th Thereby, the wettability of the liquid 28 is changed, so that also changes the shape of the droplet of the second, insulating liquid 29 above. In the example shown in Figure 2 example, the shape of the droplet of the liquid changes 29 in the presence of the electric field 27 of the illustrated in the form of a solid line flat shape toward the in the form of a dashed line illustrated arcuate shape, wherein the dashed lines in each case the interface 30 represent between the two liquids 28, 29th By varying the size and / or shape of the interface 30 between the two liquids 28, 29, the focus of the optical element can be continuously adjusted. Another known solution on the principle of "electrowetting" is described in WO 01/069380 A1.

Although these known optical elements already represent an advantageous embodiment of a flexible lens element so, the known solutions still has some drawbacks. For example, all need according to the principle of the "electrowetting" operating systems relatively high voltages up to the range from 100 to 170 V in order to achieve the desired effects.

In other known from the prior art solutions according to the JP 60051801 A and JP 01302301A optical elements are described in which an elastic film between two liquids is arranged. The two liquids are separated by this impermeable film. Via pumps, the volumes of the liquids can be varied, whereby the curvature of the film changes. In the known solutions according to DE 19710668 A1, DE 298 23 857 U1, and JP 61056303 A are each optical elements are described in which only a liquid is used in each case, which is located in a receptacle, which on two sides by transparent films is limited.

Starting from the aforementioned prior art the present invention is therefore the object of developing an optical element of the aforementioned type such that the described drawbacks of the prior art can be avoided. In particular, an optical element is to be provided, a change in the focal length can be realized with the simple manner with low power consumption in an optical device. Furthermore a correspondingly improved optical device should be provided. This object is achieved by the optical element having the features according to the independent claims 1 and 8, the optical device having the features according to the independent claim 24 as well as the advantageous uses according to the independent claims 25 and 26. Further advantages, features, details, aspects and effects of the invention will be apparent from the dependent claims, the description and the drawings. Features and details described in connection with the inventive optical elements, obviously apply also in connection with the inventive optical device and in each case vice versa. The same applies to the uses of this invention.

According to a first aspect of the invention, an optical element for variably adjusting the focal length is provided in an optical apparatus, having a receiving container including a first form flexible medium and a second form flexible medium, wherein the media are not miscible, the media in the receptacle are spatially fixed, wherein the second medium at least partially bears against at least one abutment surface within the receiving container with the two media contact at at least one boundary surface, and means for changing the size and / or shape of the interface (s) between the two media , According to the invention it is provided that the means for changing the interface (s) are designed to act on the first and / or second medium, that the means for changing the interface (s) for generating a pressure to the first and / or second medium are formed and that a medium on these funds to at least one interface in at least one preferred direction in the direction of the respective other medium displaced, in particular pressed, or can be.

The present invention starts from the teaching of DE 698 04 119 T2, the disclosure of which is included in the description of the present invention. In this known solution, which works according to the principle of the "electrowetting", which means act to change the boundary between the two media on the electrically conductive medium is a. The wettability of this electrically conductive medium is changed by applying an electric voltage, so that characterized can change the contour of the electrically insulating medium indirectly.

In the inventive solution, however, the agents act to change the boundary surface in such a manner on the first and / or second medium is an that the corresponding medium moved on these means at the interface between the two media in at least one preferred direction in the direction of the first medium , in particular pressed or can be. As will be described in more detail below, may be, in this preferred direction, for example, about the optical axis of a lens element constructed as the optical element.

In comparison to the way known from the prior art solution according to DE 698 04 119 T2 it is now no longer necessary to effect the change in the size and / or the interface between the two media to a high voltage by the application. For this reason, none of the media used must be more electrically conductive, which significantly improves the choice of appropriate media.

According to the invention the means for changing the interface between the two media are now formed in such a way that they exercise a pressure on the first and / or second medium, wherein the interface between the two media altered by the application of the pressure. Such agents, including some non-exclusive examples will be explained in the further course, can structurally simple and can be configured in energy-saving manner, such means often require very small control voltages.

If the optical element according to the invention for variably adjusting the focal length is used in an optical device, the change in the focal length can be effected without the individual components of the optical device would have to be moved. Basically, the invention is not limited to specific types of optical elements. Thus, it is for example conceivable that it is in the optical elements to variable lens elements or other, for example, electrically controllable optical elements. For example, it can be provided that the inventive optical element as a lens element, for example as a spherical lens element cylinder lens element, and the like, or as a prism element, such as a prism element with variable spectral resolving ability, or as a mirror element, such as a switchable mirror, or the like is formed. the optical element is particularly preferred, however, used as a lens element of variable focal length. Although the invention is described below primarily with reference to such an embodiment form, it goes without saying that the invention is not limited to this specific example.

According to the invention, the first optical element on a receptacle which includes two different media. In this case, at least portions of individual outer walls of the container may preferably be formed of a transparent material.

Within the receptacle are two dimensionally flexible media, the individual media are immiscible. Basically, the invention is not limited to specific types of media. It is only important that the media are dimensionally flexible. "Form Flexible" in the light of the present description, that the media do not have a rigid surface, but that the media may change within the receptacle in shape. For example, but not exclusively, it may be in the first medium is water and in which second medium be an oil.

The media is preferably partially transparent at least, and for example, the same or at least have a similar density in order to eliminate gravitation effects. The two media are spatially fixed in the receiving container, wherein the second medium at least partially bears against at least one abutment surface within the receiving container. Likewise, of course, the first medium is an abutment surface within the receiving container is located at least partially on at least.

Here, the contact surface at different locations within the receptacle can be located so that the invention is not limited to certain locating or training options. Several nonexclusive examples are described below. In the contact surface, it may act to at least a portion of a vessel wall, as the container bottom and / or a cover element and / or at least one side wall, for example. In the latter variant in particular, a configuration can be realized in the medium does not touch the vessel bottom, but is present only on the side walls. Of course, variant embodiments are conceivable in which it is at said contact surface at least a portion of an intermediate layer located within the receptacle interior. Where the medium abuts on the abutment surface of the receptacle, it is preferably formed of a transparent material so that radiation can pass through the container walls and located in the receiving container transparent media from outside into the receiving container, light entering. In one embodiment, in which the contact surfaces are formed by at least partial regions of the side walls, this may not be strictly necessary, even harmful (scattered light), so that the contact surfaces can be formed in such a case, also of a non-transparent material.

According to the invention it is furthermore provided that the two media are in contact at an interface. In order to change the focal length of the optical element, special means for changing the size and / or shape of the interface between these two media are provided. can be - in particular pushed - by these means that a pressure is exerted onto the appropriate medium, so that this displaced at the interface in at least one preferred direction in the direction of the other medium is achieved. In this preferred direction may be in the case in which the optical element is designed as a lens element, preferably around the optical axis of the lens element. The change of the focal length of the optical element and thus the change of focal length in an optical device then quasi through the pushing of the one medium toward the other medium.

It can thereby be provided, for example, that the means for changing the interface (s) are configured for acting on the second medium, and that the second medium is moved over said means on at least one interface in at least one preferential direction towards the first medium, in particular pressed, is or can be. Additionally or alternatively, it is also conceivable that the means for changing the interface (s) are configured for acting on the first medium and the first medium via said means at at least one interface in at least one preferred direction in the direction of the second medium displaced, in particular pressed is or can be.

In a further embodiment can also be provided that the two media come into contact at two interfaces, and that moved a medium through the means for changing the boundary surfaces in one or both interfaces in at least one preferred direction in the direction of the other medium, in particular pressed, or can be. In such a case, it is also possible for example, that two preferred directions - for each interface one - can be selected. Here, the preferred directions may be oriented in opposite directions in accordance with an advantageous development.

It can be advantageously provided that a medium through the means for changing the interface (s) in such a manner shifted in the direction of the other medium, in particular pressed, is that the curvature of at least varies an interface between the two media. According to a second aspect of the invention, an optical element for variably adjusting the focal length is provided in an optical apparatus, having a receiving container including a first form flexible medium and a second form flexible medium, wherein the media are not miscible, the media in the receptacle are spatially fixed, and wherein the two media contact at an interface, and means for changing the size and / or shape of the interface between the two media. This optical element according to the invention characterized in that the second medium is enclosed on all sides from the first medium, that the means are adapted to change the interface for acting on the first and / or second medium, and that the means for changing the interface for generating a pressure formed on the first and / or second medium.

In this solution, a special contact surface is not required. Rather, the second medium, advantageously having a ball-like configuration in the initial state, surrounded on all sides by the first medium. The first medium may be advantageous to water and the second medium is a suitable oil, for example, in turn. The two media have advantageously from the same density so that the second medium is retained in position within the first medium and can not sink, that is, so that the effects of gravity can be effectively excluded.

The means for changing the interface now exert a pressure on the first and / or second medium. When the pressure on the first medium is applied, the pressure from the first to the second medium is transmitted, so that this is compressed at the pressure Einwirkstelle, changing the size and / or shape of the interface between the two media. For example, the second medium can be brought from the originally spherical initial shape into an elliptical configuration. When the pressure on the second medium is applied, this will expand against the first medium, so that also in this case will change the size and / or shape of the interface between the two media. Advantageously, it can be provided that the means for changing the interface in such a way to act on the first and / or second medium, that the curvature of the interface between the first and second medium changes.

As already explained above, the invention is not limited to specific media types. For example, it can be provided that the first medium and / or the second medium is a liquid. For example, it may be in the first medium is water, while the second medium is formed as an oil. Of course, other media types are possible. Likewise, the first medium may, as described in DE 698 04 119 T2, be an electrically conductive medium, while the second medium is electrically insulating. However, the electrical conductivity is at least one of the media in the inventive solution no longer required.

Of course, the media can also be formed in other ways. It is only important that the media are dimensionally flexible. Therefore, it is for example also conceivable that the first medium and / or the second medium is formed gel-like / are.

Advantageously, it may be provided that the second medium is in the form of a drop. Here, under a drop of a small amount of medium of at least locally spherical or oblong round shape is generally understood.

Preferably have - as already stated above - the first and second medium, the same density.

In a further embodiment it can be provided that the first medium and the second medium have different optical properties, such as different optical indices. It can thereby be provided, for example, that the first medium and the second medium have different refractive indices. Thus, according to an advantageous - provided example, that the first medium is a low refractive index has (refractive index), while the second medium has a high refractive index - not exclusive.

If the media abut against a transparent contact surface, for example on an at least partially transparent wall of the receptacle, these transparent regions of the contact surface or the vessel wall, preferably the same or similar refractive index as the applied medium. This broken beam paths and unwanted reflections are avoided.

It is advantageously provided that the first and / or second medium is fixed within the receptacle space. This is particularly important when the optical element is configured in the form of a lens element, wherein a beam path defined to pass through the lens element. The spatial fixing preferably takes place by means of suitable fixing means thereto. However, the invention is not limited to specific types of fixing. For example, but not exclusively, the fixing agent in the form of a special surface design of the contact surface and / or may be in the form of a special surface properties of the contact surface. The surface is advantageously designed so that it can keep the presence of the media in position. The special surface finish can for example be realized by means of a special surface coating. Advantageously, a special surface finish can be provided in wettability. The invention is not limited to these examples.

For example, it is conceivable that the fixing of the media is provided by a suitable choice of the surface materials and / or local surface coatings inside the receiving container, such as the wall of the receptacle. Similarly, the spatial fixing of the media can take place via the application of a suitable, preferably fixed voltage. In this case, it is advantageous if the first medium is formed as an electrically conductive medium and the second medium as an electrically insulating medium. Such a possibility is generally described in DE 698 04 119 T2, the disclosure of which is included in the description of the present invention. Of course, it is also conceivable to achieve the spatial fixing on the structural configuration of the walls inside the receptacle, for example, in which they are provided with suitable projections, edges, undercuts, recesses and the like.

The fixing agents generally have the task that the position of the media within the receiving container remains unchanged, so that a defined beam path can be generated by the optical element in particular.

Advantageously, it may be provided that in the bearing surface of the receptacle For example, in an intermediate layer - at the present, the second medium, an opening is provided, and that the second medium is fixed in the region of this opening. The opening can extend in particular to an optical axis of the optical element around, so that a light beam through said aperture and then pass through the first and second medium can. In particular, the opening to all components in question of the optical element formed in the transparent area.

As already explained above, the invention is not limited to specific configurations for the means for changing the interface. Several nonexclusive examples will be described in more detail below.

So it is for example conceivable that the means are designed for changing the interface area than mechanical means. In such a case, the mechanical means may be formed for example as a piston device or cylinder device.

In a further embodiment it is also conceivable that the means for changing the interface are formed in the form of a controllable diaphragm. The invention is of course also not limited to certain types of drive for the means for changing the interface. Thus, it is possible for example, that the means are constructed to be electrically actuated. The voltages required in such a case are in the lower voltage range. Thus, such agents are particularly energy-saving and cost-effective use. Of course, other types of drive for the means for changing the interface are possible. So it is for example conceivable that these are formed magnetically and / or electromagnetically and / or pneumatically and / or hydraulically and / or piezoelectrically actuated. The selection of the appropriate Engine results based on the application and location of the optical element.

The inventive optical element, it is possible in a particularly simple and cost-effective way to realize a change in focal length of the optical element. In this case, this can be effected in a particularly simple manner by selecting appropriate parameters, such as the selection of suitable media - such as liquids - within the receptacle, the suitable design of the surfaces within the receptacle, the shape and size of the opening (s), the selection of the appropriate angle of the interfacial curvature and the like.

Even if the optical element has so far been described only by using two different media, including optical elements are of course possible, having three or more media within the receiving container, which is then formed in particular in each case different. The design and operation of such optical elements results in an analogous manner from the one described above, so that in this respect reference is made to the above statements and directed.

According to the third aspect of the invention an optical apparatus having a variable focal length is provided, which has a number of optical elements. According to the invention it is provided that at least one of the optical elements is formed in a manner as described above according to the invention. The invention is of course not limited to specific types of optical devices. So the optical elements of the invention can be used in all optical devices in which a change in the focal length is necessary. This may, for example, to video camcorders, cameras, binoculars, eyeglasses with near and distant vision, adjustable eyeglasses and the like. It is particularly advantageous may be in such an optical device is a microscope, in particular a surgical microscope or an endoscope.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a as described above optical element, therefore, in a particularly advantageous manner in an optical device with a variable focal length and / or variable spectral splitting and / or variable beam guide, in particular in a microscope or an endoscope or a telescope or a telescope, or a camera, or a camcorder or a camera in a mobile phone, or a magnifying glass, or a head magnifier used.

The invention will now be illustrated by means of embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings. Show it:

1 shows an optical element according to a first known from the prior art solution; 2 shows an optical element of another known from the prior art solution; 3 shows a first embodiment of an optical element according to the present invention; 4 shows a second embodiment of an optical element according to the present invention; 5 shows a third embodiment of an optical element of the invention; and Figure 6 is yet another embodiment of an optical element of the invention. The optical elements 10, 20 shown in Figures 1 and 2 have already been explained in connection with the introduction, so that it is made in this respect to the corresponding embodiments.

In the figures 3 to 6 optical elements according to the present invention are illustrated in which it is to concern lens elements with variable focal length. The optical elements are to be used in an optical device with a variable focal length, for example, in a surgical microscope or an endoscope (not shown, respectively).

The illustrated in Figure 3 optical element 60 first comprises a receiving container 62 which is bounded inter alia by a container base 64 and a container lid opposite thereto 63rd Perpendicular to the container bottom 64 extends the optical axis 61, along which the beam path 65 of a light beam through the optical element 60 passes therethrough.

At least in a region around the optical axis 61 around, the container bottom 64 and also the container lid 63 on a transparent area. Of course, it is also conceivable that the entire tank bottom 64 and the entire container lid 63 are formed of a transparent material.

Within the receptacle 62 there are two different, in each case form flexible media 66, 67. Both media 66, 67 are not miscible with each other, have different optical characteristics (different refractive indices n1 and n2), and have at least a similar density. In addition, both media 66, 67 are transparent. In the present embodiment may be in the form flexible media 66, 67 act to liquids, for example, the first medium 66 may be formed as water and the second medium 67 as an oil.

Within the receiving container 62 is in this embodied as a contact surface 68 intermediate layer, which in turn has an opening 74th As well as the transparent area of ​​the container bottom 64 and the opening 74 within the intermediate layer 68 is formed concentrically around the optical axis 61 around.

In the example illustrated in Figure 3 as those surfaces are within the receptacle 62, which are wetted with the first medium 66, indicated by a broken line, while those surfaces which are wetted with the second medium 67 are indicated by a dot-dash line.

The two liquids 66, 67 are spatially fixed by suitable means in the receptacle 62, wherein the second liquid 67 at least partially abuts the formed as a contact surface intermediate layer 68 within the receptacle 62nd Here, the second liquid 67 is also fixed in the area of ​​the opening 74, so that the liquid 67, which has a drop-shaped at least in the region of the interface 69 between the first and second liquid 66, 67, extending concentrically around the optical axis 61 around.

An entering into the optical element 60 light beam 65 thus first passes through the transparent portion of the container bottom 64, then the second liquid 67 and the opening 74 in the abutment surface 68 within the receptacle 62, the first liquid 66, and then a transparent portion of the container lid 63 ,

A change in the focal length of the optical element 60 and thus a change in the focal length of the optical device is now carried out in a manner that the size and / or shape of the interface 69 - for example, the curvature - between the two liquids 66 is changed 67th This is done by correspondingly configured means 70. In the present embodiment, the means 70 for changing the interface 69 are constructed in the form of a diaphragm 71, which forms a part of the interlayer 68th at least is located on or in the membrane 71 is a magnetic or metal plate 72. On this plate 72 can be acted upon by an electromagnet 73rd When the wafer 72 is formed as a magnetic plate, this can, depending on the polarity, attracted toward the container bottom 64 upon actuation of the electromagnet 73, or be repulsed in the direction of the container lid 63rd When the wafer 72 is formed as a metal plate, it is either attracted upon actuation of the electromagnet 73, or repelled.

By the means 70 for changing the interface 69, it is now possible to act directly on the liquid 67th This is done in a manner that the second liquid 67 at the interface 69 to the first liquid 66 in at least one preferred direction - is pressed toward the first liquid 66 - in the present example in the optical axis direction 61st This is done in a particularly simple and energy-saving way by operation of the membrane 71st

In the initial state, the diaphragm 71 is in its horizontal starting position. The second liquid 67 has the abutment surface 68 to a drop shape, wherein the interface has a flat curvature between the liquids 67 and 66 69th This is illustrated by a solid line.

Now, when the solenoid 73 is operated and the plate is tightened, for example, in the direction of the container base 64 72, this will cause the diaphragm 71 to deflect in the direction of the container bottom 64th Thereby, the second liquid is forced out through the aperture 74 67, whereby the curvature of the interface 69 in a substantially changes gewölbtere shape that is represented by a dashed line. The second liquid 67 is thus pressed in the direction of the optical axis 61 in the direction of the first liquid 66, thus also a change in the focal length of the optical device (not shown) is obtained.

4 shows another embodiment of an optical element is illustrated according to the present invention having a further embodiment of the means for changing the interface. The illustrated in Figure 4 optical element 40 is first turn of a receptacle 42, which is bounded inter alia by a container base 43 and a container lid opposite thereto. Perpendicular to the container bottom 43 extends the optical axis 41, runs along which the beam path 45 of a light beam through the optical element 40. At least in a region around the optical axis 41 around, the container bottom 43 and also the container cover a transparent area 44. Of course, it is also conceivable that the entire tank bottom 43 and the entire container lid are made of a transparent material.

Within the receptacle 42 there are two different form flexible media 46, 47. Both media 46, 47 are not miscible with each other, have different optical properties, and have at least a similar density. In addition, both media 46, 47 are at least partially transparent. In the present embodiment, it may likewise be in the form of flexible media to liquids, for example, the first medium 46 may be formed as water and the second medium 47 as an oil.

The first medium 46 is on, inter alia, on the at least partially transparent container lid. Advantageously, the medium and the transparent portion of the container lid have equal refractive indices n1, so that neither refracted rays, can still unwanted reflections arise. therefore just as well as the transparent region 44 of the container bottom 43 and the medium 47, which is applied to the transparent region 44, identical or similar refractive indices n2 have. Container lid and the first medium 46 or the container base 43 and second medium 47 can then each be considered as a single medium.

Within the receiving container 42 is in this an abutment surface 48 in the form of an intermediate layer, which in turn has an opening 52nd As well as the transparent region 44 of the container bottom 43 and the opening 52 within the contact face 48 is formed concentrically around the optical axis 41 around. The intermediate layer may have a horizontal or have an oblique orientation depending on the embodiment.

The two liquids 46, 47 are spatially fixed by suitable means in the receptacle 42, wherein the second liquid 47 at least partially abuts the contact surface 48 of the receptacle 42nd Here, the second liquid 47 is also fixed in the area of ​​the opening 52, so that the liquid 47, which has a drop-shaped at least in the region of the interface 49 between the first and second liquid 46, 47, extending concentrically around the optical axis 41 around. This can be realized 48, for example by suitable shaping and / or surface coating of the contact surface.

An entering into the optical element 40 light beam 45 thus first passes through the transparent region 44 of the container bottom 43, then the second liquid 47 and the opening 52 in the wall 48 of the receptacle 42, the first liquid 46, and then a transparent portion of the container lid.

A change in the focal length of the optical element 40 and thus a change in the focal length of the optical device is now carried out in a manner that the size and / or shape of the interface 49 - for example, the curvature - between the two liquids 46, 47 is changed. This is done by correspondingly configured means 50. In the present embodiment, the means 50 for changing the interface are formed 49 in the form of a piston means 51, whereby the piston 51 moves within a cylinder 53rd

By the means 50 for changing the interface 49, it is now possible to act directly on the liquid 47th This is done in a manner that the second liquid 47 at the interface 49 to the first liquid 46 in at least one preferred direction - is pressed toward the first liquid - in the present example in the optical axis direction 41st This is done in a particularly simple and energy-saving manner by actuation of the piston means 51. In the initial state is the piston means 51 in the shown by a solid line starting position. The second liquid 47 has on the wall 48 in a drop shape, wherein the interface comprises 49 between the liquids 47 and 46, a flat curvature. This is also shown by a solid line.

Now, when the piston device 51 is actuated and moved in a direction shown by the dotted line second position, for which purpose only a low driving voltage is required, the second liquid is forced out through the aperture 52 47, whereby the curvature of the interface 49 in a substantially gewölbtere form changes, which is illustrated by a dashed line. The second liquid 47 is thus pressed in the direction of the optical axis 41 in the direction of the first liquid 46, thus also a change in the focal length of the optical device (not shown) is obtained.

The turn shown in Figure 5 optical element 80 has a receptacle 82, which is delimited by a lid member 83, a container base 84 and side walls 86, 87th At least in the region of the optical axis 81, along which the light beam direction is 85, the container base 82 and container lid 83 are formed transparent.

In the receptacle 82 there are two dimensionally flexible media 90, 91 having the same density, but with different optical properties. In the present example, the first form flexible medium 90 has a refractive index n1, while the form flexible second medium has a refractive index n2 91. In contrast to the embodiments described above the second medium 91 is not at the tank bottom 84 or an intermediate layer located in the receiving container 82nd

Rather, the contact surfaces 88, 89 in the present example as the portions of the side walls 86, 87 are formed. The second medium 91 is thus firmly held laterally, and not on the optical axis 81. The bearing surfaces 88, 89 therefore need not be transparent. the surface of the bearing surfaces 88, 89 is advantageous in each case designed in such a way that the second medium 91 is held there.

The first medium 90 is located both above and below the second medium 91, so that the two media 90, 91 touch each other at two interfaces 92, 93rd

In the example shown in Figure 5 example, those surfaces are within the receptacle 82, which are wetted with the first medium 90, indicated by a broken line, while those surfaces which are wetted with the second medium 91 are indicated by a dot-dash line.

If now means not shown are operated for changing the boundary surfaces, the second medium 91 is pressed outwardly, thereby changing the curvature of boundary surfaces 92, 93 in a substantially gewölbtere form. The second medium 91 is thus opposed in two aligned preferential directions in the optical axis direction is pressed in the direction of the first medium 90 81, thereby also a change in the focal length of the optical device (not shown) is obtained.

6 shows a further embodiment of an optical element finally is still 100 in accordance with the present invention, wherein the part figures a) and b) respectively represent different operating states.

in turn, the optical element 100 includes a receiving container 102, including a container base 103 and a lid member 104. In the present example should not only be transparent whose areas around the optical axis 101 around. Rather, both the container bottom 103 and the cover member 104 in their entireties are intended to be transparent. In addition, the container bottom 103 has an inside directed into the receiving container, curved surface. Both the container base 103 and the cover member 104 have a refractive index n1, which is identical or similar to the refractive index n1 of a first, disposed in the receiving container 102 flexibly shaped medium 105th The first medium 105 may be, for example, be water, while the container bottom 103 and the lid member 104 are made for example of glass.

In the receiving container 102 further comprises a second form flexible medium 106 having the same density as the first medium 105 but with a different refractive index is n2. In the second medium is, for example, an oil. The second medium 106, which has in the starting position according to FIG 6a) in a sphere shape, is surrounded on all sides by the first medium 105th In contrast to the embodiments described above, the second medium is thus applied to any bearing surface. Since both media 105, 106 have the same density and by the design of the container bottom 103. This ensures that the second medium is retained in position in the Figure 6a 106th

A change in the focal length of the optical element 100 and thus a change in the focal length of the optical device is now carried out in a manner that the size and / or shape of the boundary surface 107 - for example, the curvature - between the two media 105 is changed 106th This is done by correspondingly configured means 108. In the present embodiment, the means 108 for changing the interface 107 are formed in the form of a piston device 109 with the piston 109 moves along its displacement direction 110 within the receptacle 102nd

For this reason, the piston assembly 109 is made of a transparent material, for example made of glass. Furthermore, the piston means 109 has advantageously a refractive index n1 which corresponds to the refractive index n1 of the first medium 105, or is similar to it.

By the means 108 for changing the interface 107, it is now possible, on the first medium 105 directly and indirectly act on the second medium 106th In the initial state, the piston means 109 is in the position shown in Figure 6a starting position. The second medium 106 has a spherical shape.

Now, when actuated, the piston 109 and is displaced along the displacement direction 110 to a position shown in Figure 6b second position, the second medium is pressed into an elliptical shape, thereby also a change in the focal length of the optical device (not shown) is obtained.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS

10 The optical element

11 electrode

12 insulating layer

13 drops of liquid-conductive

14 electric field

20 optical element

21 optical axis

22 receptacle

23 container floor

24 transparent area of ​​the container bottom

25 electrode

26 insulating layer

27 electric field

28 first liquid (electrically conductive)

29 second liquid (electrically insulating)

30 interface between the liquids

31 means for changing the interface

40 optical element

41 optical axis

42 receptacle

43 container floor

44 transparent area of ​​the container bottom

45 light beam direction

46 form first flexible medium

47 second dimensionally flexible medium

48, the surface (interface)

49 interface between the media

50 means for changing the interface piston means

opening

cylinder

optical element optical axis

receptacle

container lid

container bottom

First light beam direction form flexible medium second form flexible medium

Abutment surface (intermediate layer)

Interface between the media

Means for changing the interface

membrane

platelet

electromagnet

opening

optical element optical axis

receptacle

container lid

container bottom

Beam direction

Container sidewall

Container sidewall

contact surface

First abutment surface form flexible medium second form flexible medium

Interface between the media 93 interface between the media

100 optical element

101 optical axis

102 receptacle

103 container floor

104 container lid

105 first form flexible medium

106 second form flexible medium

107 interface between the media

108 means for changing the interface

109 piston device

110 displacement direction of the piston means

Claims

claims
1. An optical element for variably adjusting the focal length in an optical device, having a receiving container (22, 42, 62, 82) having a first form flexible medium (28, 46, 66, 90) and a second form flexible medium (29, 47 , 67, 91), wherein the media are not miscible, the media in the receptacle (22, 42, 62, 82) are spatially fixed, wherein the second medium (29, 47, 67, 91) at least partially on at least a bearing surface (23, 48, 68, 88, 89) within the receptacle (22, 42, 62, 82) abuts, and wherein the two media contact at at least one boundary surface (30, 49, 69, 92, 93), and with means (31, 50, 70) for changing the size and / or shape of the interface (s) (30, 49, 69, 92, 93) between the two media, characterized in that the means (50, 70) for changing the interface (s) (49, 69, 92, 93) are designed to act on the first and / or second medium, that the means (50, 70) for Änder n of the interface (s) (49, 69, 92, 93) are adapted to generate a pressure to the first and / or second medium, and that a medium via said means (50, 70) on at least one boundary surface (49, 69, 92, 93) in at least one preferential direction (41, 61, displaced 81) in the direction of the other medium, in particular pressed, or can be.
2. An optical element according to claim 1, characterized in that the means (50, 70) for changing the interface are formed (s) (49, 69, 92, 93) for acting on the second medium (47, 67, 91) and that the second medium (47, 67, 91) via said means (50, 70) on at least one boundary surface (49, 69, 92, 93) (in at least one preferential direction (41, 61, 81) in the direction of the first medium 46, 66, 90) shifted, in particular pressed, or can be.
3. Optical element according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the means (50, 70) for changing the interface (s) (49, 69, 92, 93) for acting on the first medium (46, 66, 99) are formed and that the first medium (46, 66, 90) via said means (50, 70) on at least one boundary surface (49, 69, 92, 93) in at least one preferential direction (41, 61, 81) in the direction of the second medium (47, 67, 91) shifted, in particular pressed, or can be.
4. An optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the two media at two interfaces (92, 93) touch, and that a medium through the means for changing the boundary surfaces (92, 93) at one or both interfaces (92, 93) in at least one preferential direction (81) displaced in the direction of the other medium, in particular pressed, or can be.
5. An optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the bearing surface (88, 89) within the receptacle (42, 62, 82) as at least a portion of a cover member (63, 83) and / or a floor element ( 44, 64, 84) and / or at least one side wall (86, 87) is formed.
6. An optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the abutment surface (48, 68) within the receptacle (42, 62) as at least a portion of an inside of the receiving container (42, 62) disposed intermediate surface is formed.
7. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that a medium via the means (50, 70) for changing the interface (s) (49, 69, 92, 93) in such a manner shifted in the direction of the respective other medium is that the curvature changes at least one interface (49, 69, 92, 93) between the two media.
8. An optical element for variably adjusting the focal length in an optical device, having a receiving container (102) having a first form flexible medium (105) and a second form flexible medium (106), wherein the media are not miscible, the media in the receptacle (102) are spatially fixed, and wherein the two media contact at an interface (107), and means (108) for changing the size and / or shape of the interface (107) between the two media, characterized in that the second medium (106) on all sides from the first medium (105) is enclosed in that the means (108) for changing the interface (107) to act on the first and / or second medium (105, 106) are formed and that the means (108) for changing the interface (107) for generating a pressure to the first and / or second medium (105, 106) are formed.
9. The optical element according to claim 8, characterized in that the means (108) for changing the interface (107) in such a way to the first and / or second medium (105, 106) act, that the curvature of the interface (107) between the first (105) and second (106) medium changes.
10. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that the first medium (46, 66, 90, 105) and / or the second medium (47, 67, 91, 106) is a liquid.
11. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that the first medium (46, 66, 90, 105) and / or the second medium (47, 67, 91, 106) is formed gel-like.
12. Optical element according to claim 10 or 11, characterized in that the second medium (47, 67, 91, 106) is in the form of a drop.
13. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 12, characterized in that the first medium (46, 66, 90, 105) and the second medium (47, 67, 91, 106) have the same density.
14. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 13, characterized in that the first medium (46, 66, 90, 105) and the second medium (47, 67, 91, 106) having different optical properties.
15. The optical element according to claim 14, characterized in that the first medium (46, 66, 90, 105) and the second medium (47, 67, 91, 106) have different refractive indices.
16. The optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 15, characterized in that the spatial fixing of the first (46, 66, 90, 105) and / or second (47, 67, 91, 106) medium (within the receptacle 42, 62, 82, 102) by means of fixing agents.
17. The optical element according to claim 16, characterized in that the fixing means in the form of a special surface configuration of the abutment surface (48, -68, 88, 89) and / or in the form of a special surface finish of the bearing surface (48, 68, 88, 89) are formed.
18. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 17, characterized in that in the bearing surface (48, 68) of the receptacle (42, 62) on which the second medium (47, 67) is applied, an opening (52, 74 ) is provided and that the second medium (47, 67) in the region of the opening (52, 74) is fixed.
19. The optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 18, characterized in that the means (50, 108) for changing the interface (49, 107) are formed as mechanical means.
20. The optical element according to claim 19, characterized in that the mechanical means as a piston means (51, 109) or cylinder means are formed.
21. The optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 20, characterized in that the means (70) for changing the interface (69) in the form of a controllable diaphragm (71) are formed.
22. The optical element according to any one of claims 1 to 21, characterized in that the means (50, 70, 108) for changing the interface (s) (49, 69, 92, 93, 107) is electrically and / or magnetically and / are formed or electromagnetically and / or pneumatically and / or hydraulically and / or piezoelectrically actuated.
23. Optical element according to one of claims 1 to 22, characterized in that it is designed as a lens element or prism element or the mirror element.
24. An optical device with a variable focal length, comprising a number of optical elements, characterized in that at least one of the optical elements (40, 60, 80, 100) according to any one of claims 1 to 23 is formed.
25. Use of an optical element (40, 60, 80, 100) according to one of claims 1 to 23 in an optical device with a variable focal length and / or variable spectral splitting and / or variable beam guide.
26. Use of an optical element (40, 60, 80, 100) according to one of claims 1 to 23 in a microscope or an endoscope or a telescope, or a telescope, or a camera, or a camcorder or a camera in a mobile phone, or a magnifying glass, or a head motion.
PCT/EP2004/011930 2003-10-23 2004-10-21 Optical element for variable setting of the focal length on an optical device and optical device WO2005040865A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE10349467.7 2003-10-23
DE2003149467 DE10349467A1 (en) 2003-10-23 2003-10-23 An optical element for variably adjusting the focal length in an optical device and optical device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2005040865A1 true true WO2005040865A1 (en) 2005-05-06

Family

ID=34484961

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/EP2004/011930 WO2005040865A1 (en) 2003-10-23 2004-10-21 Optical element for variable setting of the focal length on an optical device and optical device

Country Status (2)

Country Link
DE (1) DE10349467A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2005040865A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2427283B (en) * 2004-04-01 2007-11-28 1 Ltd Variable focal length lens
US7725016B2 (en) 2005-11-01 2010-05-25 Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. Liquid zoom lens

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102011113066A1 (en) 2011-09-09 2013-03-14 Rainer Schmidt Controlled optical element is filled with optical liquid and has volume that is formed from base surface and shape-variable top surface and is additionally contains side parts and membrane

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE3410153A1 (en) * 1983-03-21 1985-02-07 Krueger Beuster Helmut Panhydraulic, optical system
DE19710668A1 (en) * 1997-03-14 1998-09-17 Robert Seidel Variable lens system e.g. for endoscope zoom lens
US5864128A (en) * 1991-10-15 1999-01-26 Geo Labs, Inc. Lens with variable focal length
WO2003069380A1 (en) * 2002-02-14 2003-08-21 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Variable focus lens
WO2004077126A1 (en) * 2003-02-25 2004-09-10 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Objective lens for optical disk recording/reproducing device comprising variable lens formed by the interface of two immiscible fluids
WO2004099845A1 (en) * 2003-05-06 2004-11-18 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Electrowetting module
WO2004102253A1 (en) * 2003-05-14 2004-11-25 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Variable shape lens

Family Cites Families (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS6051801A (en) * 1983-08-31 1985-03-23 Nec Corp Variable focus lens
JPS6156303A (en) * 1984-08-28 1986-03-22 Nec Home Electronics Ltd Lens unit
JPH01302301A (en) * 1988-05-31 1989-12-06 Asahi Optical Co Ltd Liquid enclosing optical element
DE29823897U1 (en) * 1998-09-28 2000-03-16 Waeschke Ulf Device for conveying cryogenic liquids

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE3410153A1 (en) * 1983-03-21 1985-02-07 Krueger Beuster Helmut Panhydraulic, optical system
US5864128A (en) * 1991-10-15 1999-01-26 Geo Labs, Inc. Lens with variable focal length
DE19710668A1 (en) * 1997-03-14 1998-09-17 Robert Seidel Variable lens system e.g. for endoscope zoom lens
WO2003069380A1 (en) * 2002-02-14 2003-08-21 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Variable focus lens
WO2004077126A1 (en) * 2003-02-25 2004-09-10 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Objective lens for optical disk recording/reproducing device comprising variable lens formed by the interface of two immiscible fluids
WO2004099845A1 (en) * 2003-05-06 2004-11-18 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Electrowetting module
WO2004102253A1 (en) * 2003-05-14 2004-11-25 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Variable shape lens

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2427283B (en) * 2004-04-01 2007-11-28 1 Ltd Variable focal length lens
US7725016B2 (en) 2005-11-01 2010-05-25 Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. Liquid zoom lens

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
DE10349467A1 (en) 2005-06-02 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
Ren et al. Variable-focus liquid lens
US6154302A (en) Light deflection device and array thereof
US6778328B1 (en) Tunable field of view liquid microlens
US20040012683A1 (en) Shake compensating device for optical devices
US7126903B2 (en) Variable focus lens
US20030202266A1 (en) Micro-mirror device with light angle amplification
US7746529B2 (en) MEMS display apparatus
US7580195B2 (en) Optical lens and method of manufacturing the same
US20080218873A1 (en) Fluidic optical devices
US7675665B2 (en) Methods and apparatus for actuating displays
US7031046B2 (en) Variable focal length lens comprising micromirrors with two degrees of freedom rotation
US20080266645A1 (en) Device and method to realize a light processor
US20060279848A1 (en) Variable lens
US20050030438A1 (en) Variable optical-property element
US6970284B1 (en) Variable focusing lens comprising micromirrors with one degree of freedom rotation
US7733575B2 (en) Optical systems employing compliant electroactive materials
US7265910B2 (en) Optical unit, image taking apparatus and optical finder
US20100110532A1 (en) Electro-wetting apparatus, varifocal lens, optical pick-up apparatus, optical recording/reproducing apparatus, droplet operating apparatus, optical device, zoom lens, imaging apparatus, light modulator, display apparatus, strobe apparatus, and method of driving electro-wetting apparatus
US7251392B2 (en) Reduction of driving voltage in a switchable element
US20060045501A1 (en) Zoom flash with variable focus lens
US7382545B2 (en) Liquid zoom lens
US7466493B2 (en) Liquid lens
US20100202054A1 (en) Liquid Lens System
US20080316587A1 (en) Solution Flow Prevention in Fluid Focus Lenses
WO2004099847A1 (en) Electrowetting cells

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): AE AG AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BW BY BZ CA CH CN CO CR CU CZ DE DK DM DZ EC EE EG ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MA MD MG MK MN MW MX MZ NA NI NO NZ OM PG PH PL PT RO RU SC SD SE SG SK SL SY TJ TM TN TR TT TZ UA UG US UZ VC VN YU ZA ZM ZW

AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): GM KE LS MW MZ NA SD SL SZ TZ UG ZM ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LU MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GQ GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
122 Ep: pct app. not ent. europ. phase