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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Full-frame programmable spectral filters based on micromirror arrays
Author(s): Steven P. Love; David L. Graff
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Paper Abstract

Rapidly programmable micromirror arrays, such as the Texas Instruments Digital Light Processor (DLP®) digital micromirror device (DMD), have opened an exciting new arena in spectral imaging: rapidly reprogrammable, high spectral resolution, multiband spectral filters that perform spectral processing directly in the optical hardware. Such a device is created by placing a DMD at the spectral plane of an imaging spectrometer and by using it as a spectral selector that passes some wavelengths down the optical train to the final image and rejects others. Although simple in concept, realizing a truly practical DMD-based spectral filter has proved challenging. Versions described to date have been limited by the intertwining of image position and spectral propagation direction common to most imaging spectrometers, reducing these instruments to line-by-line scanning imagers rather than true spectral cameras that collect entire two-dimensional (2-D) images at once. Here, we report several optical innovations that overcome this limitation and allow us to construct full-frame programmable filters that spectrally manipulate every pixel, simultaneously and without spectral shifts, across a full 2-D image. So far, our prototype, which can be programmed either as a matched-filter imager for specific target materials or as a fully hyperspectral multiplexing Hadamard transform imager, has demonstrated over 100 programmable spectral bands while maintaining good spatial image quality. We discuss how diffraction-mediated trades between spatial and spectral resolution determine achievable performance. Finally, we describe methods for dealing with the DLP’s 2-D diffractive effects and suggest a simple modification to the DLPs that would eliminate their impact for this application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 2014
PDF: 11 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS 13(1) 011108 doi: 10.1117/1.JMM.13.1.011108
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 13, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Steven P. Love, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
David L. Graff, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

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