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20 July 2010 Development of MEMS-based programmable slit mask for multi-object spectroscopy
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We are developing MEMS-based programmable reflective slit masks for future generation infrared multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) for space and ground-based telescopes. These devices are composed of monocrystalline silicon micromirrors of size 200 × 100 um2 which can be tilted by electrostatic actuation yielding a tilt-angle of 20°. An electromechanical clamping mechanism has been demonstrated providing uniform tilt-angle within one arc minute precision over the whole array (5 × 5 micromirrors). Slit masks of different sizes have been produced; the largest one measures 25 × 22 mm2 and is composed of 20'000 micromirrors. Thanks to the architecture and the fabrication process of these slit masks; the micromirror peak-to-valley deformation (PTV) is uniform over the device and was measured being below 10 nm for uncoated micromirror. A slit mask of size 5 × 5 micromirrors was successfully tested in cryogenic conditions at 92 K; the micromirrors were actuated before, during and after the cryogenic experiment. To achieve for the large arrays a better fabrication yield and a higher reliability, the architecture, the process flow, the assembly and the electronics are being optimized. Optical characterizations as well as experiments of the large devices are underway.
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Michael Canonica, Severin Waldis, Frederic Zamkotsian, Patrick Lanzoni, Wilfried Noell, and Nico De Rooij "Development of MEMS-based programmable slit mask for multi-object spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 77394Q (20 July 2010);

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