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Proceedings Paper

Development of a high-speed high-fill-factor phase-only spatial light modulator
Author(s): Vern Shrauger; Cardinal Warde
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Paper Abstract

This paper demonstrates a MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology for the fabrication of a high-speed, phase-only spatial light modulator (SLM). An independently developed low temperature MEMS process for the vertical integration of MEMS directly onto VLSI substrates is presented. The low temperature process enables the use of standard VLSI wafers integrated with MEMS at the post-process level. A MEMS structure has been demonstrated that produces polarization-independent pixel-wise pure-piston phase delay with optically flat micromirrors fabricated on a mock VLSI substrate as a proof-of-concept device. The gray-scale phase modulation offers -pi to +pi dynamic range in the ultraviolet to near infrared spectrum without mechanical contact. Pixel sizes as small as 40 microns with 86% fill-factor have been demonstrated. In addition to high fill-factor, micromirror reflectivity exceeding 95% that significantly minimizes optical insertion loss and enables high power operation has also been confirmed with this novel process. Furthermore, single-pixel operating speeds in excess of 100 kHz have been verified. The high operating speeds enable electrically addressed framing rates that are limited by the electronic interface bandwidth as opposed to the optical modulating element. We are presently fabricating a monolithically integrated phase-only modulator on CMOS VLSI creating a compact, lightweight, low-cost SLM. The resulting 256x256, 4 kHz framing rate, gray-scale phase-only SLM has applications including adaptive optics, high-speed optical correlators, phased array beam steering and diffractive beam forming.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 April 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4291, Diffractive and Holographic Technologies for Integrated Photonic Systems, (16 April 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.424843
Show Author Affiliations
Vern Shrauger, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)
Cardinal Warde, Optron Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4291:
Diffractive and Holographic Technologies for Integrated Photonic Systems
Richard L. Sutherland; Dennis W. Prather; Ivan Cindrich, Editor(s)

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