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Resonant optomechanical scanning systems enable small actuators to generate large scan displacements at high frequencies enabling development of small, high-performance beam scanning systems.  Spiral and resonance scanning systems have been developed for scanning fiber endoscope application, while mixed resonance galvanometer mirror scanning systems have been developed for microscopy and ophthalmology applications.  While resonant systems are capable of high optomechanical displacement and high frequency operation, these systems have characteristic velocity variation of the projected beam across the scanned, field-of-view (FOV).  Imaging modalities that require uniformity of illumination have addressed this issue by clipping the outermost portion of the scan or by over sampling a portion of a scan.  These solutions are not ideal in that they decrease FOV and photon efficiency of the optical system or result in large differences in scanned solid angle per unit time. The creation and use of an optical transformer mitigate these issues and allow for linear scans across a great portion of the FOV.

It has been discovered that an optical transformer including an optomechanical member to produce a primary light (e.g., having a bounded periodic motion (BPM) or a substantially periodic motion) and a lens to transform the primary light to a secondary light produces the secondary light with a selected scan that is substantially linear from a nonlinear scan of the primary light. The secondary light cumulatively, over time, substantially fills a field of view (FOV) uniformly. Advantageously, the secondary light can be a substantially linear scan. Therefore, the optical transformer optically transforms the primary light having a nonlinear resonant scan to the secondary light having a linear scan to uniformly fill a selected FOV.

The figure below is an optical transformer and includes optomechanical member 4 and lens 6. Optomechanical member 4 includes mechanical member 5 and optical member 7. Mechanical member 5 is configured to move in response to an actuation and to drive a motion of optical member 7. Optical member 7 includes, e.g., an optical fiber, waveguide, mirror, and the like. Optomechanical member 4 is configured to communicate light therethrough by, e.g., transmission, reflection, or a combination thereof. Incident light 8 is communicated by optomechanical member 4 to produce primary light 10 having initial propagation 12, which is, e.g., a BPM scan. Primary light 10 is communicated to lens 6. Lens 6 is configured to receive primary light 10 from optomechanical member 4 and to modify initial propagation 12 of primary light 10. As a result, lens 6 produces secondary light 14 such that sample space 16 is illuminated with secondary light 14 having final propagation 18. It is contemplated that, for initial propagation 12 that is a resonant nonlinear BPM scan, final propagation 18 is linear. Here, primary light 10 is incident on surface 100 of lens 6, which can have a selected shape (e.g., planar, curved, concave, convex, and the like) or can include an aperture.


An optical transformer includes: an optomechanical member configured: to receive incident light; and to produce primary light from the incident light including an initial propagation that includes a nonlinear scan; and a lens configured: to receive the primary light from the optomechanical member; to linearize the nonlinear scan; and to produce secondary light including a final propagation that comprises a linear scan, such that the optical transformer is configured to transform the nonlinear scan of the primary light to the linear scan of the secondary light. A process for optically transforming a nonlinear scan includes receiving an incident light by an optical transformer that includes an optomechanical member and a lens; producing a primary light from the incident light that includes an initial propagation having a nonlinear scan; communicating the primary light from to the lens; and producing a secondary light to optically transform the nonlinear scan, the secondary light including a final propagation that comprises a linear scan, based on optically linearizing the initial propagation.

Christopher Brown, John Melcher, Stephan Stranick
Patent Number: 
Technology Type(s): 
Optical Physics, Optical Technology
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Issue Date: 
August 21, 2018
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