Design and Use of an Acoustically Tunable Beam Shaping Apparatus

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Design and Use of an Acoustically Tunable Beam Shaping Apparatus

Princeton University Invention # 07-2369



Fixed lenses are conveniently used for shaping the intensity patterns or wavefronts of light, however there are needs for frequent reshaping which requires adaptive optical elements. There are a number of such active technologies, each with advantages and shortcomings. To overcome limitations such as speed and energy throughput for materials processing applications, Researchers at Princeton University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, have developed an adaptive optical element referred to as a tunable acoustic gradient index (TAG) lens. ¹ A TAG lens is capable of producing rapidly tunable complex optical beams and patterns from a single source beam.  The lens uses piezoelectric transducers to modify the density and refractive index within a fluid to generate lensing behavior.   An experimental prototype has been developed and its ability to generate basic and complex optical beams has been demonstrated, however work is ongoing in determining the full potential of the TAG lens.

¹Arnold, C., McLeod, I, A New Approach to Adaptive Optics for Materials Processing,

Photonics Spectra, November, 2007, pg78-84. 



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Prabhpreet Gill
Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Craig Arnold
Euan Mcleod
Marti Duocastella
Alexandre Mermillod-Blondin