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Proceedings Paper

Arrays of thermal microactuators coupled to micro-optical components
Author(s): J. Robert Reid; Victor M. Bright; John H. Comtois
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Paper Abstract

The power provided by individual surface micromachined micro-actuators is often insufficient to drive micro-optical components. Therefore, arrays of polycrystalline silicon thermal micro-actuators have been developed. The coupling of the actuators combines their forces to overcome the friction involved with sliders and hinges. This is demonstrated with the fabrication of a scanning micro-mirror and a lateral scanning micro-mirror. The scanning micro-mirror is connected to the substrate using substrate micro-hinges, thus allowing the plate to rotate off of the substrate surface. The micro-mirror is lifted off the substrate and locked into a support mechanism directly connected to the thermal actuator array. Utilizing the actuators, the angle between the micro-mirror and the substrate surface is modulated. The actuator array is capable of moving the mirror plate through a range of 15 degrees. The lateral scanning micro-mirror is connected to the substrate with flowing substrate hinges mounted to the substrate with a rotating pin joint. The hinge support is directly connected to an actuator array by a thin polysilicon tether. The micro-mirror rotates through 5 degrees about the pin joint by driving the actuator array with an electrical current. These mirrors can be used in a variety of micro-optical systems such as optical scanners, corner cube reflectors, and optical couplers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2865, Actuator Technology and Applications, (20 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259030
Show Author Affiliations
J. Robert Reid, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Victor M. Bright, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
John H. Comtois, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2865:
Actuator Technology and Applications
Alson E. Hatheway, Editor(s)

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