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Preliminary Investigation of an Active PLZT LensThe design, analysis and preliminary testing of a prototype Adjustable Focus Optical Correction Lens (AFOCL) is described. The AFOCL is an active optical component composed of solid state lead lanthanum-modified zirconate titanate (PLZT) ferroelectric ceramic with patterned indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent surface electrodes that modulate the refractive index of the PLZT to function as an electro-optic lens. The AFOCL was developed to perform optical re-alignment and wavefront correction to enhance the performance of Ultra-Lightweight Structures and Space Observatories (ULSSO). The AFOCL has potential application as an active optical component within a larger optical system. As such, information from a wavefront sensor would be processed to provide input to the AFOCL to drive the sensed wavefront to the desired shape and location. While offering variable and rapid focussing capability (controlled wavefront manipulation) similar to liquid crystal based spatial light modulators (SLM), the AFOCL offers some potential advantages because it is a solid-state, stationary, low-mass, rugged, and thin optical element that can produce wavefront quality comparable to the solid refractive lens it replaces. The AFOCL acts as a positive or negative lens by producing a parabolic phase-shift in the PLZT material through the application of a controlled voltage potential across the ITO electrodes. To demonstrate the technology, a 4 mm diameter lens was fabricated to produce 5-waves of optical power operating at 2.051 micrometer wavelength. Optical metrology was performed on the device to measure focal length, optical quality, and efficiency for a variety of test configurations. The data was analyzed and compared to theoretical data available from computer-based models of the AFOCL.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lightsey, W. D. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Peters, B. R. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Reardon, P. J. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Wong, J. K. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2001
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.