We are developing a new class of deformable optic based on electrostatic actuation of nanolaminate foils. These foils are engineered at the atomic level to provide optimal opto-mechanical properties, including surface quality, strength and stiffness, for a wide range of deformable optics. We are combining these foils, developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), with commercial metal processing techniques to produce prototype deformable optics with aperture sizes up to 10 cm and actuator spacing from 1 mm to 1 cm and with a range of surface deformation designed to be as much as 10 microns. The existing capability for producing nanolaminate foils at LLNL, coupled with the commercial metal processing techniques being used, enable the potential production of these deformable optics with aperture sizes of over 1 m, and much larger deformable optics could potentially be produced by tiling multiple deformable segments. In addition, based on the fabrication processes being used, deformable nanolaminate optics could potentially be produced with areal densities of less than 1 kg per square m for applications in which lightweight deformable optics are desirable, and deformable nanolaminate optics could potentially be fabricated with intrinsically curved surfaces, including aspheric shapes. We will describe the basic principles of these devices, and we will present details of the design, fabrication and characterization of the prototype deformable nanolaminate optics that have been developed to date. We will also discuss the possibilities for future work on scaling these devices to larger sizes and developing both devices with lower areal densities and devices with curved surfaces.
This ongoing work concerns the creation of a deformable mirror by the integration of MEMS actuators with Nanolaminate foils through metal compression boning. These mirrors will use the advantages of these disparate technologies to achieve dense actuation of a high-quality, continuous mirror surface. They will enable advanced adaptive optics systems in large terrestrial telescopes.
While MEMS actuators provide very dense actuation with high precision they can not provide large forces typically necessary to deform conventional mirror surfaces. Nanolaminate foils can be fabricated with very high surface quality while their extraordinary mechanical properties enable very thin, flexible foils to survive the rigors of fabrication. Precise metal compression bonding allows the attachment of the fragile MEMS actuators to the thin nanolaminate foils without creating distortions at the bond sites.
This paper will describe work in four major areas: 1) modeling and design, 2) bonding development, 3) nanolaminate foil development, 4) producing a prototype. A first-principles analytical model was created and used to determine the design parameters. A method of bonding was determined that is both strong, and minimizes the localized deformation or print through. Work has also been done to produce nanolaminate foils that are sufficiently thin, flexible and flat to be deformed by the MEMS actuators. Finally a prototype was produced by bonding thin, flexible nanolaminate foils to commercially available MEMS actuators.
MicroAssembly Technologies has developed an optical MEMS process based on the batch transfer of microstructures. This "plug and play" process enables integration of ultra-flat SOI reflectors with high-aspect MEMS actuators and high-voltage CMOS driver circuits. Interferometer measurements confirm that assembled mirror devices are extremely flat.
This work concerns the development of a technology that uses Nanolaminate foils to form light-weight, deformable mirrors that are scalable over a wide range of mirror sizes. While MEMS-based deformable mirrors and spatial light modulators have considerably reduced the cost and increased the capabilities of adaptive optic systems, there has not been a way to utilize the advantages of lithography and batch-fabrication to produce large-scale deformable mirrors. This technology is made scalable by using fabrication techniques and lithography that are not limited to the sizes of conventional MEMS devices.
Like many MEMS devices, these mirrors use parallel plate electrostatic actuators. This technology replicates that functionality by suspending a horizontal piece of nanolaminate foil over an electrode by electroplated nickel posts. This actuator is attached, with another post, to another nanolaminate foil that acts as the mirror surface.
Most MEMS devices are produced with integrated circuit lithography techniques that are capable of very small line widths, but are not scalable to large sizes. This technology is very tolerant of lithography errors and can use coarser, printed circuit board lithography techniques that can be scaled to very large sizes.
These mirrors use small, lithographically defined actuators and thin nanolaminate foils allowing them to produce deformations over a large area while minimizing weight.
This paper will describe a staged program to develop this technology. First-principles models were developed to determine design parameters. Three stages of fabrication will be described starting with a 3x3 device using conventional metal foils and epoxy to a 10-across all-metal device with nanolaminate mirror surfaces.
This work presents a nodal model for continuous face sheet deformable mirrors that can be solved quickly on a desktop computer. This network of simple cubic stiffening elements can more accurately simulate deflections resulting from complex loading conditions than a membrane model and is much easier to implement than a non-linear finite element model. The deflections predicted by the model are compared to expected behavior and to FEM results for a simple system. While restoring forces due to pre-stress and deformation-induced stress are fairly accurately modeled, resistance due to bending is only accurately modeled for specialized devices.