In future space missions for Universe and Earth Observation, scientific return could be optimized using MOEMS devices. Large micromirror arrays (MMA) are used for designing new generation of instruments. In Universe Observation, multi-object spectrographs (MOS) are powerful tools for space and ground-based telescopes for the study of the formation and evolution of galaxies. This technique requires a programmable slit mask for astronomical object selection; 2D micromirror arrays are perfectly suited for this task. In Earth Observation, removing dynamically the straylight at the entrance of spectrographs could be obtained by using a Smart Slit, composed of a 1D micro-mirror array as a gating device. We are currently engaged in a European development of micro-mirror arrays, called MIRA, exhibiting remarkable performances in terms of surface quality as well as ability to work at cryogenic temperatures. MMA with 100 × 200 μm2 single-crystal silicon micromirrors were successfully designed, fabricated and tested down to 162 K. In order to fill large focal planes (mosaicing of several chips), we are currently developing large micromirror arrays to be integrated with their electronics. 1D and 2D arrays are built on wafer with Through Wafer Vias in order to allow routing of the device on wafer backside, foreseeing integration with dedicated ASICs. The yield of these devices as well as contrast enhancement have been successfully implemented.
A MEMS scanner with a high level of motion freedom has been developed. It includes a 2D mechanical tilting capability of +/- 15°, a piston motion of 50μm and a focus/defocus control system of a 2mm diameter mirror. The tilt and piston motion is achieved with an electromagnetic actuation (moving magnet) and the focus control with a deformation of the reflective surface with pneumatic actuation. This required the fabrication of at least one channel on the compliant membrane and a closed cavity below the mirror surface and connected to an external pressure regulator (vacuum to several bars). The fabrication relies on 3 SOI wafers, 2 for forming the compliant membranes and the integrated channel, and 1 to form the cavity mirror. All wafers were then assembled by fusion bonding. Pneumatic actuation for focus control can be achieved from front or back side; function of packaging concept. A reflective coating can be added at the mirror surface depending of the application. The tilt and piston actuation is achieved by electromagnetic actuation for which a magnet is fixed on the moving part of the MEMS device. Finally the MEMS device is mounted on a ceramic PCB, containing the actuation micro-coils. Concept, fabrication, and testing of the devices will be presented. A case study for application in an endoscope with an integrated high power laser and a MEMS steering mechanism will be presented.
Continuous and accurate monitoring of acceleration and temperature inside large turbo- and hydro-generators is of crucial importance to prevent extremely expensive system damages and false positives. Development of optical, metalfree sensors for such systems has gained a lot of attention due to the fact that they are resistant to typically very strong electromagnetic fields and that they are non-conductive. We present miniature temperature and accelerometer optical sensors using a common silicon MEMS platform. A linear response with a deviation as small as 1% between set and measured accelerations has been obtained in an acceleration range 0-40g. Preliminary tests for temperature sensors indicate a linear response with sensitivity better than 1°C in a range of 20°C to 150°C.
This paper reports the fabrication of a 20×20 micro mirror array (MMA) designed for high optical power application (5- 8kW/m2). Each pixel can attain a 2D mechanical tilt angle of +/- 4° in any arbitrary axis with an applied voltage of 150V. A novel packaging architecture is proposed to increase the ratio of mirror surface to packaging surface based on fully vertically integration process of the actuation (vertical electrodes), electrical interconnections (TSV) and signal processing (electronic). All components have a pitch smaller than the mirror surface. A detailed assessment of the fabrication process - including 3D wafer level assembly, through silicon via (TSV), electronic integration, and characterization methodology is presented with experimental results.
With the rising need for microfabricated chip-scale atomic clocks to enable high precision timekeeping in portable applications, there has been active interest in developing miniature (<few cm3), chip-scale alkali vapor lamps, since vapor plasma discharge sources are currently the standard for optical pumping in double-resonance clocks. We reported in 2012 a first microfabricated chip-scale Rubidium dielectric barrier discharge lamp. The device’s preliminary results indicated its high potential for optical pumping applications and wafer-scale batch fabrication. The chip-scale plasma light sources were observed to be robust with no obvious performance change after thousands of plasma ignitions, and with no electrode erosion from plasma discharges since the electrodes are external. However, as atomic clocks have strict lamp performance requirements including less than 0.1% sub-second optical power fluctuations, power consumption less than 20 mW and a device lifetime of at least several years, it is important to understand the long-term reliability of these Rb planar mini-lamps, and identify the operating conditions where these devices can be most reliable and stable. In this paper, we report on the reliability of such microfabricated lamps including a continuous several month run of the lamp where the optical power, electrical power consumption and temperature stability were continuously monitored. We also report on the effects of temperature, rf-power and the lamp-drive parasitics on the optical power stability and discuss steps that could be taken to further improve the device’s performance and reliability.
We present our evaluation of a compact laser system made of a 795 nm VCSEL locked to the Rubidium absorption line
of a micro-fabricated absorption cell. The spectrum of the VCSEL was characterised, including its RIN, FM noise and
line-width. We optimised the signal-to-noise ratio and determined the frequency shifts versus the cell temperature and
the incident optical power. The frequency stability of the laser (Allan deviation) was measured using a high-resolution
wavemeter and an ECDL-based reference. Our results show that a fractional instability of ≤ 10-9 may be reached at any
timescale between 1 and 100'000 s. The MEMS cell was realised by dispensing the Rubidium in a glass-Silicon preform
which was then, sealed by anodic bonding. The overall thickness of the reference cell is 1.5 mm. No buffer gas was
added. The potential applications of this compact and low-consumption system range from optical interferometers to
basic laser spectroscopy. It is particularly attractive for mobile and space instruments where stable and accurate
wavelength references are needed.
This paper presents the design, fabrication and operation principle of an optical beam steerer for laser fiber coupling based on a MEMS device. The MEMS chip consists on a bi-dimensional movable platform based on uni-dimensional comb drive actuation. An optical lens is assembled onto the mobile platform to focus and steer the light comping from a laser diode and couple it into an optical fiber. Assembly of a complete system and measurements were performed and compared to simulation results. Both the trajectory of the MEMS and resonance frewquency measurements agree with the simulated ones.
A 2D MEMS platform for a microlens scanner application is reported. The platform is fabricated on an SOI wafer with 50 μm thick device layer. Entire device is defined with a single etching step on the same layer. Through four S-shaped beams, the device is capable of producing nonlinear 2D motion from linear 1D translation of two pairs of comb actuator sets. The device has a clear aperture of 2mm by 2mm, which is hallowed from the backside for micro-optics assembly. In this paper, a numerical device model and its
validation via experimental characterization results are presented. Integration of the micro-optical components with the stage is also discussed. Additionally, a new driving scheme to minimize the settling time of the device in DC operation is explored.
We present several devices using different spectroscopic concepts. First, we show the successive steps and improvements in connection with the Michelson interferometer which we have already realized, in particular the use of fibers to bring in and collimate the light. A possible method to obtain micro-optical elements that are suitable for integration on the interferometer chip is proposed. Then, we present a lamellar grating interferometer, an array of commutable slits to realize a Hadamard transformer, and a movable curved diffraction grating. All of these devices have been realized by silicon micro-machining, more particularly with silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology.