A variable focal length deformable mirror has an inner ring and an outer ring that simply support and push axially on opposite sides of a mirror plate. The resulting variable clamping force deforms the mirror plate to provide a parabolic mirror shape. The rings are parallel planar sections of a single paraboloid and can provide an on-axis focus, if the rings are circular, or an off-axis focus, if the rings are elliptical. The focal length of the deformable mirror can be varied by changing the variable clamping force. The deformable mirror can generally be used in any application requiring the focusing or defocusing of light, including with both coherent and incoherent light sources.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.