Switchable electro-optic diffractive lens with high efficiency for ophthalmic applications

Guoqiang Li, David L. Mathine, Pouria Valley, Pekka Äyräs, Joshua N. Haddock, M. S. Giridhar, Gregory Williby, Jim Schwiegerling, Gerald R. Meredith, Bernard Kippelen, Seppo Honkanen, Nasser Peyghambarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Presbyopia is an age-related loss of accommodation of the human eye that manifests itself as inability to shift focus from distant to near objects. Assuming no refractive error, presbyopes have clear vision of distant objects; they require reading glasses for viewing near objects. Area-divided bifocal lenses are one example of a treatment for this problem. However, the field of view is limited in such eyeglasses, requiring the user to gaze down to accomplish near-vision tasks and in some cases causing dizziness and discomfort. Here, we report on previously undescribed switchable, flat, liquid-crystal diffractive lenses that can adaptively change their focusing power. The operation of these spectacle lenses is based on electrical control of the refractive index of a 5-μm-thick layer of nematic liquid crystal using a circular array of photolithographically defined transparent electrodes. It operates with high transmission, low voltage (<2 Vrms), fast response (<1 sec), diffraction efficiency > 90%, small aberrations, and a power-failure-safe configuration. These results represent significant advance in state-of-the-art liquid-crystal diffractive lenses for vision care and other applications. They have the potential of revolutionizing the field of presbyopia correction when combined with automatic adjustable focusing power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6100-6104
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 18 2006


  • Ophthalmic lens
  • Switchable lens
  • Vision correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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