Modeling the carbon nanofiber addressed liquid crystal microlens array from experimentally observed optical phenomena

Jiahui Lu, Matthew Cole, Timothy Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


This paper presents a novel method of using experimentally observed optical phenomena to reverse-engineer a model of the carbon nanofiber-addressed liquid crystal microlens array (C-MLA) using Zemax. It presents the first images of the optical profile for the C-MLA along the optic axis. The first working optical models of the C-MLA have been developed by matching the simulation results to the experimental results. This approach bypasses the need to know the exact carbon nanofiber-liquid crystal interaction and can be easily adapted to other systems where the nature of an optical device is unknown. Results show that the C-MLA behaves like a simple lensing system at 0.060-0.276 V/μm. In this lensing mode the C-MLA is successfully modeled as a reflective convex lens array intersecting with a flat reflective plane. The C-MLA at these field strengths exhibits characteristics of mostly spherical or low order aspheric arrays, with some aspects of high power aspherics. It also exhibits properties associated with varying lens apertures and strengths, which concur with previously theorized models based on E-field patterns. This work uniquely provides evidence demonstrating an apparent "rippling" of the liquid crystal texture at low field strengths, which were successfully reproduced using rippled Gaussian-like lens profiles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalOptics Communications
Early online date4 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Adaptive optics
  • Carbon nanofiber
  • Liquid crystal
  • Microlens
  • Modeling
  • Ray tracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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