Dave's 2¢ on... inventions and discoveries

Freeman, Dave
July 2004
Portable Design;Jul2004, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p8
In 1875, M.G. Lippmann published a paper describing how an electrical potential could influence the contact angle of a non-wetting fluid. This phenomenon is called electrowetting. The discovery has been applied to modern devices from MEMS pumps to the development of "e-paper". Innovators have discovered a new application for electrowetting: the creation of a liquid lens that allows its focal length to be controlled by an applied voltage. Companies like Philips Research and Samsung Electro-Mechanics intend to use this lens in camera phones. In conjunction with the new lens systems, several efforts are underway to develop low-lux, low-cost imaging systems. Reduction of system noise is one method used to provide greater dynamic range and usable lower-light sensitivity.


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