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Proceedings Paper

Implementation of hexagonal micromirror arrays as phase-mostly spatial light modulators
Author(s): John H. Comtois; Victor M. Bright; Steven C. Gustafson; M. Adrian Michalicek
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Paper Abstract

Hexagonal micromirror arrays and associated test structures have been fabricated using a commercial surface-micromachining process. The hexagonal micromirrors are 50 micrometers across and are arranged in a hexagonal array of 127 mirrors with 75 micrometers center-to-center spacing between nearest micromirrors. Each micromirror is supported by three flexure hinges, each of which surrounds one third of the micromirror perimeter. Each micromirror in the array can be displaced independently through a vertical distance of over 1 micrometers by a voltage applied to an underlying address electrode. The flexures and other highly diffracting or poorly reflecting areas can be covered by a statinary reflecting plate with holes that expose the moving micromirrors. These micromirror arrays function as efficient phase-mostly spatial light modulators. Applications for these micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems include optical processing, coherent beam shaping, and adaptive optics. This design has several important advantages. First, the hexagonal micromirror and array geometries maximize the active surface area of the array. Second, the use of three flexures instead of four, as is typical for square phase-mostly micromirrors, lowers the required drive voltage. Third, the reflecting cover plate ensures that light efficiency is maximized and that a substantial stationary coherent reference plane is provided. Design considerations for fabricating the arrays in commercial surface mciromachining processes are discussed. The deflection versus voltage behavior of the hexagonal micromirror is determined analytically and experimentally. Test results are used to design the next generation array.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2641, Microelectronic Structures and Microelectromechanical Devices for Optical Processing and Multimedia Applications, (13 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.220944
Show Author Affiliations
John H. Comtois, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Victor M. Bright, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Steven C. Gustafson, Univ. of Dayton (United States)
M. Adrian Michalicek, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2641:
Microelectronic Structures and Microelectromechanical Devices for Optical Processing and Multimedia Applications
Wayne Bailey; M. Edward Motamedi; Fang-Chen Luo, Editor(s)

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