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Proceedings Paper

Membrane mirror light modulator technology
Author(s): Cardinal Warde; James T. McCann; Vern Shrauger; H.-H. Ieong; Ali Ersen; X. Y. Wang; J. Hubbard
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Paper Abstract

We have incorporated membrane mirror technology over a discrete array of pixel wells to create both high-efficiency optical shutters and spatial light modulators (SLM). A continuous metalized-membrane mirror with greater than 98% reflectivity minimizes optical insertion loss. This mirror is electrostatically deformed into the wells with either a common electrode (shutter) or pixilated electrodes (SLM). By using a spatial filter, analog intensity optical modulation is realized. Both 1-D (linear) and 2-D grating pixel patterns have been investigated. With the appropriate pixel dimensions, both coherent monochromatic and broadband incoherent light within the 0.25 to 10.6 micron range can be modulated with contrast ratios up to 1000:1. Small well sizes (approximately 10-micron diameter) allow for modulation speeds up to 1 MHz. The theoretical foundations for the well layout, the membrane mirror deformation and its diffraction properties, and the design trade-offs are detailed. We have applied our membrane mirror technology to CMOS VLSI circuits creating a high-speed, high-efficiency spatial light modulator capable of 80 X 64 resolution and scalable to HDTV standards. The membrane mirror SLM provides either amplitude or phase modulation. In the phase modulation mode, at least two waves of stroke per discrete well are possible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3951, Diffractive/Holographic Technologies and Spatial Light Modulators VII, (10 March 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.379367
Show Author Affiliations
Cardinal Warde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
James T. McCann, Markem Corp. (United States)
Vern Shrauger, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)
H.-H. Ieong, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)
Ali Ersen, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)
X. Y. Wang, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)
J. Hubbard, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3951:
Diffractive/Holographic Technologies and Spatial Light Modulators VII
Ivan Cindrich; Sing H. Lee; Richard L. Sutherland, Editor(s)

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