Novel means to focus lens gets funded

Craig Arnold, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey, USA) has received funding from the University's Intellectual Property (IP) Development Fund to help develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of a new type of lens.

Craig Arnold, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey, USA) has received funding from the University's Intellectual Property (IP) Development Fund to help develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of a new type of lens.

The so-called Tunable Acoustic Gradient (TAG) lens consists of a cavity formed by a circular piezoelectric that is filled with a refractive liquid. The piezoelectric is driven at a specific frequency and amplitude to generate an acoustic wave in the liquid, thereby changing the liquid’s density and its index of refraction.

The result is that it has the ability to change focus under computer control in less than a microsecond.

The researchers are currently demonstrating the feasibility of TAG-enabled microscopy by adding the device to a standard off-the-shelf microscope and color camera system.

The team now plan to use the money from the Development Fund to construct a prototype of a microscope capable of 3-D imaging.

-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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