Focusing on things at varying distances is made easy using liquid lenses (WDs). The optical-grade liquid is contained in tiny cells that may be adjusted physically or electrically to create “liquid lenses.” A liquid lens cell’s form changes when subjected to an electrical current or voltage. The focal length and WD are affected by this instantaneous change in optical power. Several companies have developed liquid lens technology that uses a variety of somewhat different mechanisms, such as electrowetting, current-driven polymer, and sound piezoelectric. Since they can focus, process data quickly, and accommodate both DOF and WD, liquid lenses are well suited for imaging applications.
Reaction Time Liquid lenses may be adjusted electrically by changing the voltage or current, and they have a reaction time on the order of milliseconds. Manual or mechanical focusing mechanisms, used on many fixed-length and zoom lenses and scope, may slow down the image process.
Embedding liquid lenses into an imaging lens or threading them onto the front or back of an imaging lens are just two examples of the many places liquid lenses may be used in an imaging system.
Liquid lenses can be made small since they have no moving parts. Furthermore, the performance of liquid lenses is on par with that of an assembly comprised of numerous separate lenses. The size and weight of the entire lens may be lowered by eliminating those lenses and replacing them with a tiny liquid cell.
The biggest diameter available for a liquid lens is just around 16 millimeters. Due to their narrow apertures, liquid lenses can only be used with sensors up to roughly 1/1.8″ when attached to the front of an already existing machine vision lens. System-integrated liquid lenses do not diminish the sensing area.
The optical powers (focal lengths) of liquid lenses may cover a broad range, and they can move at lightning rates. Quicker focusing is achieved by doing away with the moving components and mechanical adjustments inherent in fixed focal length and zoom lenses.
Difficulty of Integration
Liquid lenses might be challenging to implement, depending on the environment and the task at hand. Many high-speed applications, such as distance sensors or controllers, need the employment of additional components, such as filters and apertures, that are compatible with liquid lenses.
Exactly how does the technology behind liquid lenses function?
The electrowetting method used by liquid lenses allows for improved autofocus. A lens is an enclosed unit that contains water and oil. Quickly and precisely, the electrowetting process forms the oil drop into an efficient lens. Focusing can be done quickly and efficiently in both little and big increments since the process is continuous, reversible, and quick.
It’s important to remember that there are no moving components in liquid lens technology. Because of this, they can withstand significant amounts of force before breaking or being damaged by vibrations. In addition, the optical axis may be maintained in any direction, making liquid lenses a long-lasting substitute for mechanical alternatives.
Why Opt for Liquid Lenses?
Liquid lenses’ primary value lies in their adaptability, which allows them to serve several purposes at once. When mass producing items of varying sizes, this is invaluable.
Machine vision inspection is used in many industries, including the pharmaceutical industry. Using conventional lenses for product inspection would need either many inspection stations or continual adjustments to the depth of field in a single inspection station.
With liquid lenses, a single imaging system may perform the functions of many. Changing the depth of field or setting up several image systems to accommodate varying object distances is no longer necessary thanks to the ability to encode these settings into the imaging system.
As a result of its adaptability, liquid lens technology has seen phenomenal growth in the business world. In many cases, liquid lenses may even deliver superior picture quality than their mechanical counterparts.