Dielectrophoresis-Actuated in-plane optofluidic lens with tunability of focal length from negative to positive

Qingming Chen, Tenghao Li, Yujiao Zhu, Weixing Yu, Xuming Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports a tunable in-plane optofluidic lens by continuously tuning a silicone oil-Air interface from concave to convex using the dielectrophoresis (DEP) force. Two parallel glasses are bonded firmly on two sides by NOA 81(Norland Optical Adhesive 81) spacers, forming an open microfluidic channel. An ITO (indium tin oxide) strip and another unpatterned ITO layer are deposited on two glasses as the top and bottom electrodes. Initially, a capillary concave liquid-Air interface is formed at the end of the open channel. Then the DEP force is enabled to continuously deform the interface (lens) from concave to convex. In the experiment, the focal length gradually decreases from about -1 mm to infinite and then from infinite to around + 1 mm when the driving voltage is increased from 0 V to 260 V. Particularly, the longitudinal spherical aberration (LSA) is effectively suppressed to have LSA < 0.04 when the lens is operated in the focusing state. This work is the first study of in-plane tunable lenses using the DEP force and possesses special merits as compared to the other reported tunable lenses that are formed by pumping different liquids or by temperature gradient, such as wide tunability, no need for continuous supply of liquids, low power consumption (∼81 nJ per switching) due to the capacitor-Type driving, and the use of only one type of liquid. Besides, its low aberration makes it favorable for light manipulation in microfluidic networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6532-6541
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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