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Adaptive Lenses Based on Soft Electroactive Materials

by Hongwen Ren 1,* and Shin-Tson Wu 2
Department of Polymer Nano-Science and Technology, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 54896, Korea
College of Optics and Photonics/CREOL, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1085;
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Optics for Biomedical Imaging)
Soft electroactive materials including dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gels have recently been extensively investigated. These smart materials can effectively respond to an electric field, resulting in shape deformation. In addition to artificial muscles, actuators, sensors, and micro-electromechanical systems, they can be used to prepare various adaptive lenses with unique features such as a simple fabrication, compact structure, good flexibility, and light weight. In contrast to DEAs, PVC gels can provide exciting opportunities for emerging applications in imaging, sensing, optical communication, biomedical engineering, and displays. In this review paper, the underlying physical mechanisms of these two electroactive materials are explained first, and then some recent progress in their application in macro-sized lenses and microlens arrays is presented. Finally, future perspectives of the PVC gels are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptive optics; electrostative materials; dielectric elastomer; PVC gel; focal length; imaging adaptive optics; electrostative materials; dielectric elastomer; PVC gel; focal length; imaging
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Ren, H.; Wu, S.-T. Adaptive Lenses Based on Soft Electroactive Materials. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1085.

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