Optics researchers in
Vladimir Presnyakov and Tigran Galstian of the
The laser caused the monomers to form a polymer network, and since the intensity of the laser beam varied with position, the density of the network also varied with position. This in turn influenced the orientation of the liquid crystal molecules in the cell and the refractive index at different positions. Therefore, by carefully controlling the intensity profile of the laser, it is possible for the cell to act as a lens.
It is also possible to change the profile of the refractive index across the lens, and therefore the focal length of the lens, by applying a voltage. For instance, the
Presnyakov and Galstian say that their device is a good alternative to other prototype liquid lenses because it has no moving parts. Furthermore, they claim that their lens is simpler, more robust and more cost-effective than other lenses.