Liquid crystal lenses with tunable focal length

Yi-Hsin Lin*, Yu Jen Wang, Victor Reshetnyak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


Lenses with tunable focal length play important roles in nature by helping species avoid predators and capture prey. Many practical devices mimic lens concept for imaging, sensing, and detection. This review covers fundamental optics of lenses and its extension to lenses made of liquid crystals (LCs). Three main types of LC lenses are described, namely, lenses with curved surfaces, flat gradient-index lenses and composite lenses. The review discusses advantages of LC lenses over their isotropic counterparts, challenges in their fabrication and control, as well as a variety of potential applications. We also discuss the current challenges associated with nematic LC lenses and their solutions. LC lenses are already having significant impacts on optics and optometry, and these impacts will grow with discovering new LC materials and new lens designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-143
Number of pages33
JournalLiquid Crystals Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Lens design
  • Liquid crystal lens
  • Tunable focal length


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