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17 February 2003 Applications of magnetically shaped liquid optical surfaces
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Proceedings Volume 4833, Applications of Photonic Technology 5; (2003)
Event: Applications of Photonic Technology 5, 2002, Quebec City, Canada
In this paper we present preliminary results on a new type of optical material. By combining a thin reflective colloidal film with a superparamagnetic liquid known as a ferrofluid, it is possible to produce an optical quality surface that can be shaped by the application of a magnetic field. Ferrofluids are colloidal suspensions of nanometer-sized magnetic particles and are considered a well established, low-risk technology. We have demonstrated deformations of several microns at frequencies exceeding 100 Hz, making the material useful as a deformable mirror for adaptive optics and also of potential interest in numerous other optical devices. Liquid optics are relatively inexpensive when compared to conventional glass surfaces of similar quality and are free of mechanical constraints such as resonance and limits on the displacement of adjacent actuators. We present results to date and discuss some of the potential applications of liquid optics as well as the challenges remaining in realising practical devices based on this technology.
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Phil R. Laird, R. Bergamasco, Vincent Berube, Ermanno F. Borra, Anna-Marie R. Ritcey, and Helene Yockell-Lelievre "Applications of magnetically shaped liquid optical surfaces", Proc. SPIE 4833, Applications of Photonic Technology 5, (17 February 2003);


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