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1. WO2010078666 - ELECTROACTIVE OPTICAL DEVICE

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Claims

1. An optical device, in particular a light scrambler, comprising: a polymer film (101, 201) arranged in a plane and comprising a first surface (102, 202) and a second surface (103, 203), a first electrode located (105, 205) on said first surface, a second electrode (106, 206) located on said second surface, a rigid, undeformable optical element (104, 204) connected to said polymer film, wherein the application of a voltage difference between said first and said second electrodes (105, 205; 106, 206) displaces said optical element (104, 204) parallel to the plane of said polymer film.

2. The optical device of claim 1 wherein said optical element (104, 204) is connected to said first and/or second surface.

3. The optical device of any of the preceding claims, wherein the rigid optical element (104, 204) is connected to the polymer film by means of an adhesive, self adhesion or a weld.

4. The optical device of any of the claims 1 to 2, wherein said rigid optical element (104') is partially or fully embedded into said polymer film (101, 201). 5. The optical device of any of the preceding claims, wherein the plane of said polymer film (101, 201) comprises first and second non-overlapping sections, with the electrodes (105, 106, 205, 206) arranged in said first section and the optical element (104, 204) arranged in the second section.

6. The optical device of any of the preceding claims, wherein said polymer film (101, 201) comprises or consists of a material selected from the group comprising gels, elastomers, thermoplasts, duroplasts, acrylic materials, and elastomers, and/or wherein said optical element (104, 204) is of polymer, plastic, glass or a crystalline material.

7. The optical device of any of the preceding claims, wherein the polymer film (101, 201) is freely suspended in a holding means (107, 207, 108, 208).

8. The optical device of claim 7, wherein the polymer film (101 , 201) is attached to the holding means in a prestretched manner.

9. The optical device of any of the preceding claims, wherein said electrodes (105, 106; 205, 206) are made from at least one material selected from the group comprising carbon nanotubes, carbon black, conducting grease, metal ions, fluid metals, metallic powders, and conducting polymers.

10. The optical device of any of the preceding claims further comprising an antireflective layer (111, 211) on at least one surface of said optical device, and in particular wherein said antireflective layer comprises structures having a size smaller than 5 μm, in particular smaller than 1 μm, and in particular smaller than 200

5 nm.

1 1. The optical device of any of the preceding claims wherein said electrodes are arranged at a first side (104a) of said optical element 104 but not on a second, opposite side (104b) of said optical element.

12. The optical device of claim 1 1 wherein said electrodes are also o arranged at a third side (104c) of said optical element (104) but not on a fourth side

(104d) of said optical element, wherein said third and fourth sides (104c, 104d) are opposite to each other.

13. A method for operating an optical device, wherein said optical device comprises a polymer film (101, 201) lying in a plane and having a first surface s (102, 202) and a second surface (103, 203), a first electrode located (105, 205) on said first surface, a second electrode (106, 206) located on said second surface, and a rigid, undeformable optical element (104, 204) connected to said polymer film, wherein said method comprises the step of applying a voltage difference between said first electrode (105, 205) and said second electrode (106, 206), thereby displacing o said rigid optical element (104, 204) substantially along a plane parallel to said polymer film.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said optical element (104, 204) is displaced to perform a periodic back and forth motion parallel to said plane at a given frequency, wherein said frequency is a resonance frequency of said motion. 5 15. The method of any of the claims 13 or 14 wherein, for scrambling a light beam, said light beam is sent through or reflected by said optical element (104, 204), wherein said optical element (104, 204) has a curved surface and is being oscillated in an oscillating motion, and wherein said optical element (104, 204) has a purely convex or a purely concave surface in the area contacted by said layer beam. 0 16. A method for manufacturing the optical device of any of the claims 1 to 12 comprising the steps of a) stretching a polymer film (101, 201); b) attaching the polymer film (101, 201) to a holding means (107, 207, 108, 208); 5 c) applying a first electrode (105, 205) on a first surface (102, 202) of the polymer film (101 , 201);

d) applying a second electrode (106, 206) on a second surface (103, 203) of the polymer film (101, 201); and e) applying a rigid optical element (104, 204) consisting of a mechanically harder material than the polymer film to at least one of the surfaces of the polymer film or directly to the polymer film adjacent to at least one of said electrodes.

17. A method for manufacturing the optical device of any of the claims 1 to 12 comprising the steps of a) placing a rigid optical element (104, 204) onto a supporting surface; b) distributing a polymer over the rigid optical element and curing it at least partially to form a polymer film (101, 201); c) removing an assembly obtained by said steps a) and b) from said supporting surface and prestretching the polymer film (101, 201) with the rigid optical element (104, 204); d) attaching the polymer film ( 101 , 201 ) to a holding means (107,

207, 108, 208); e) applying a first electrode (105, 205) on a first surface (102, 202) of the polymer film (101, 201); and f) applying a second electrode (106, 206) on a second surface (103, 203) of the polymer film (101, 201).

18. Use of the device of any of the claims 1 to 12 for light scrambling or lens positioning.