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23 February 2009 The high versatility of silicon based micro-optical modulators
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"One product, one process": This MEMS law is true for micro-optical modulators, too and thus puts a high load on every product and technology development team. On the other hand the law expresses nothing but the high versatility of the underlying usually silicon based technology. A huge variety of applications where an electromagnetic wave experiences a spatial-temporal modulation makes use of this technology: High resolution as well as ultra-compact displays, optical switches in telecommunication as well as data storage devices, spectrometers e. g. for quality control, as well as adaptive optics and pattern generation to mention only a few. The applications completely differ with regard to the requirements in almost all aspects. The most important drivers to use silicon based micro-optical modulators are high accuracy, high bandwidth and high miniaturization. A continuous further development of the technology can be reported. Novel optical, mechanical and electrical working principles are investigated to meet future requirements. After a short overview of the most typical applications of silicon based micro-optical modulators the high versatility of this technology is detailed by means of selected devices and applications. Single 1D and 2D micro mirrors with diameters of up to 4 mm e. g. for projection, imaging and spectroscopy are as well presented and discussed as micro mirror arrays comprising up to 1 million analog deflectable mirrors for image generation and phase modulation in microlithography and adaptive optics.
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Harald Schenk "The high versatility of silicon based micro-optical modulators", Proc. SPIE 7208, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VIII, 720802 (23 February 2009);


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