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Mechanically assisted liquid lens zoom system for mobile phone cameras

: Wippermann, F.C.; Schreiber, P.; Bräuer, A.; Berge, B.


Sasian, J.M. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX : September 2006, San Diego, CA
Bellingham/Wash.: SPIE, 2006 (SPIE Proceedings Series 6289)
ISBN: 0-8194-6368-X
Paper 62890T
Conference "Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization" <9, 2006, San Diego/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Camera systems with small form factor are an integral part of today's mobile phones which recently feature auto focus functionality. Ready to market solutions without moving parts have been developed by using the electrowetting technology. Besides virtually no deterioration, easy control electronics and simple and therefore cost-effective fabrication, this type of liquid lenses enables extremely fast settling times compared to mechanical approaches. As a next evolutionary step mobile phone cameras will be equipped with zoom functionality. We present first order considerations for the optical design of a miniaturized zoom system based on liquid-lenses and compare it to its mechanical counterpart. We propose a design of a zoom lens with a zoom factor of 2.5 considering state-of-the-art commercially available liquid lens products. The lens possesses auto focus capability and is based on liquid lenses and one additional mechanical actuator. The combination of liquid lenses and a single mechanical actuator enables extremely short settling times of about 20ms for the auto focus and a simplified mechanical system design leading to lower production cost and longer life time. The camera system has a mechanical outline of 24mm in length and 8mm in diameter. The lens with f/# 3.5 provides market relevant optical performance and is designed for an image circle of 6.25mm (1/2.8" format sensor).