We are reporting on the development of the next generation 2D programmable field masks for the UV/visible multi-object spectroscopy. The devices have their legacy in the JWST microshutter NIRSpec magnetically actuated MEMS microshutters. A new fabrication process has been developed to actuate microshutter arrays electrostatically thus eliminating the need for the macroscopic mechanisms and improving the reliability and robustness of the device. The microshutters, made with silicon nitride membranes with a pixel size of 100 x 200 μm^2, rotate on torsion bars. The microshutters are actuated, latched, and addressed electrostatically by applying voltages on the electrodes the front and back sides of the microshutters. We have successfully fabricated and demonstrated actuation and addressing of these devices.
Microshuter arrays are programmable field selector masks for optical spectrocopy based on MEMS technology. The original device was developed as part of the NIRSpec (Near Infrared Spectrometer) instrument for JWST (Jame Webb Space Telescope. The devices were designed for: random access addressing of the individual pixels in large format (365x721 elements), high contrast optical blocking > 1e4 operate in UV and visible, long life time for the operation of 20,000 cycles or more.