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Issue 17, 2016
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Tunable optofluidic birefringent lens

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An optofluidic birefringent lens is demonstrated using hydrodynamic liquid–liquid (L2) interfaces in a microchannel. The L2 lens comprises a nematic liquid crystal (NLC) phase and an optically isotropic phase for the main stream and the surrounding sub-stream, respectively. When the optofluidic device is subjected to a sufficiently strong electric field perpendicular to the flow direction, NLCs are allowed to orient along the external field rather than the flow direction overcoming fluidic viscous stress. The characteristics of the optofluidic birefringence lens are investigated by experimental and numerical analyses. The difference between the refractive indices of the main stream and the sub-stream changes according to the polarization direction of incident light, which determines the optical behaviour of the lens. The incidence of s-polarized light leads to a short focal point, while p-polarized light has a relatively long focal distance from the same L2 interface. The curvatures and focal lengths of the lens are successfully evaluated by a hydrodynamic theory of NLCs and a simple ray-tracing model.

Graphical abstract: Tunable optofluidic birefringent lens

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The article was received on 12 Nov 2015, accepted on 08 Mar 2016 and first published on 11 Mar 2016

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02782A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2016,12, 3868-3876
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    Tunable optofluidic birefringent lens

    D. Wee, S. H. Hwang, Y. S. Song and J. R. Youn, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 3868
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02782A

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