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Proceedings Paper

Chopping of near- and mid-infrared radiation using a curled electrostatic MEMS actuator
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Paper Abstract

An electrostatic MEMS actuator known as the “Artificial Eyelid” can be used as a micromechanical chopper for IR detectors. The actuator structure consists of a curled polymer/metal film stack which is microfabricated and released from an IR transparent substrate. The film stack is uncurled by applying an electric field between the curled film and the transparent fixed electrode on the substrate. These flexible film actuators can act as IR choppers, providing transmission of radiation to the sensor elements when open (curled) and reflection when closed (uncurled). Arrays of actuators were fabricated on ITO-coated glass substrates and ranged in size from 4 x 4 mm to 7.5 x 15 mm with individual elements ranging from 250 to 500 μm on a side. Actuation for devices with average radius of curvature of 120 μ was consistently achieved at 150-170 V operation with 98-100% of the elements functioning and long lifetimes. IR chopper characteristics were measured using a blackbody source and pyroelectric detector by applying sine and square wave voltage to the actuators at a frequency of 30 Hz. The capability of the artificial eyelid for chopping near- and mid-IR radiation, including future fabrication of devices using NiCo2O4 or NiRh2O4 films for IR transparent electrodes, will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5074, Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX, (10 October 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.488786
Show Author Affiliations
David Edward Dausch, MCNC Research and Development Institute (United States)
Scott H. Goodwin, MCNC Research and Development Institute (United States)
Gregory J. Exarhos, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5074:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop, Editor(s)

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