20 November 1996 Arrays of thermal microactuators coupled to micro-optical components
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The power provided by individual surface micromachined micro-actuators is often insufficient to drive micro-optical components. Therefore, arrays of polycrystalline silicon thermal micro-actuators have been developed. The coupling of the actuators combines their forces to overcome the friction involved with sliders and hinges. This is demonstrated with the fabrication of a scanning micro-mirror and a lateral scanning micro-mirror. The scanning micro-mirror is connected to the substrate using substrate micro-hinges, thus allowing the plate to rotate off of the substrate surface. The micro-mirror is lifted off the substrate and locked into a support mechanism directly connected to the thermal actuator array. Utilizing the actuators, the angle between the micro-mirror and the substrate surface is modulated. The actuator array is capable of moving the mirror plate through a range of 15 degrees. The lateral scanning micro-mirror is connected to the substrate with flowing substrate hinges mounted to the substrate with a rotating pin joint. The hinge support is directly connected to an actuator array by a thin polysilicon tether. The micro-mirror rotates through 5 degrees about the pin joint by driving the actuator array with an electrical current. These mirrors can be used in a variety of micro-optical systems such as optical scanners, corner cube reflectors, and optical couplers.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. Robert Reid, Victor M. Bright, John H. Comtois, "Arrays of thermal microactuators coupled to micro-optical components", Proc. SPIE 2865, Actuator Technology and Applications, (20 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259030; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.259030

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