The patent's assignee for patent application serial number 719299 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates to varifocal lenses.
"A lens is an instrument for concentrating or distributing light according to properties whereby light is refracted at a boundary surface between different media with different refractive indexes and is a basic component of various imaging devices such as cameras.
"A focal length of a lens is determined according to a curvature of a lens surface and a material of a lens. Recently, demand for a lens system having a varifocal function for obtaining better images has increased. A varifocal function is used for an autofocusing operation or a zooming operation and is performed by mechanically moving some lenses constituting a lens system by using a motor or the like or by changing a curvature of a lens surface by using a liquid lens.
"Recently, there has been increased interest in techniques for using a liquid crystal as an optical lens by electrically controlling the operation thereof. Liquid crystal molecules are aligned along the direction of an electric field. Since the refractive index in a major axis direction is generally different from the refractive index in a minor axis direction in the case of liquid crystal molecules, the liquid crystal molecules have various refractive indexes according to their alignment states. In particular, if a boundary surface, where the refractive index changes due to the alignment of liquid crystal molecules, is curved, the liquid crystal molecules refract light transmitted thereto, thereby acting as an optical lens."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Additional aspects will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the presented embodiments.
"According to an aspect of an exemplary embodiment, a varifocal lens includes a first liquid crystal layer; a second liquid crystal layer disposed below the first liquid crystal layer; a common electrode disposed between the first liquid crystal layer and a second liquid crystal layer; a first electrode disposed above the first liquid crystal layer and having a curved shape; and a second electrode disposed below the second liquid crystal layer and having a curved shape.
"The varifocal lens may further include a first upper substrate having a curved surface corresponding to an upper surface of the first electrode and disposed above the first liquid crystal layer, wherein the first electrode is disposed on a lower surface of the first upper substrate. In addition, the varifocal lens may further include a second upper substrate that includes a lower surface having a flat shape and an upper surface having a curved surface corresponding to a lower surface of the first electrode and is disposed above the first liquid crystal layer, wherein the first electrode is disposed between the first upper substrate and the second upper substrate.
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