In many optical applications, there is an increasing need for dynamically tunable optical elements that are able to shape the wavefront of light 'on demand'. In this work, an elastomeric easy-to-fabricate optical element whose transmission functions can be reversibly phase configured by visible light is demonstrated. The light responsivity of proper azopolymers incorporated within an elastomeric matrix is exploited to induce a light-controlled graded refractive index (GRIN) distribution within the bulk compound. The induced refractive index distribution is continuous and conformal to the intensity profile of the illumination at moderate power. A 100 mW doubled-frequency Nd:YAG Gaussian beam focused to a 650 mu m waist is shown to induce a maximum relative refractive index change of similar to 0.4% in the elastomeric matrix, with an approximately parabolic profile. The restoring characteristics of the elastomeric matrix enable full recovery of the initial homogeneous refractive index distribution within a few seconds when the incident laser is switched off. As an exemplary application, the configurable GRIN element is used in a microscope-based imaging system for light control of the effective focal length.

Reconfigurable elastomeric graded-index optical elements controlled by light / Angelini, A.; Pirani, F.; Frascella, F.; Descrovi, E.. - In: LIGHT, SCIENCE & APPLICATIONS. - ISSN 2047-7538. - 7:1(2018), p. 7. [10.1038/s41377-018-0005-1]

Reconfigurable elastomeric graded-index optical elements controlled by light

Angelini, A.
;
Descrovi, E.
2018

Abstract

In many optical applications, there is an increasing need for dynamically tunable optical elements that are able to shape the wavefront of light 'on demand'. In this work, an elastomeric easy-to-fabricate optical element whose transmission functions can be reversibly phase configured by visible light is demonstrated. The light responsivity of proper azopolymers incorporated within an elastomeric matrix is exploited to induce a light-controlled graded refractive index (GRIN) distribution within the bulk compound. The induced refractive index distribution is continuous and conformal to the intensity profile of the illumination at moderate power. A 100 mW doubled-frequency Nd:YAG Gaussian beam focused to a 650 mu m waist is shown to induce a maximum relative refractive index change of similar to 0.4% in the elastomeric matrix, with an approximately parabolic profile. The restoring characteristics of the elastomeric matrix enable full recovery of the initial homogeneous refractive index distribution within a few seconds when the incident laser is switched off. As an exemplary application, the configurable GRIN element is used in a microscope-based imaging system for light control of the effective focal length.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11696/63080
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