This paper describes a novel design for a variable optical delay line (ODL) based on modified version of a
recently developed MEMS-based 3-D rotating inclined micromirror (3DRIM). The 3DRIM is created by
assembling a micromirror onto the top of a rotary comb-drive motor. The comb-drive motor is able to
achieve a few degrees of rotation. The new ODL architecture uses two such 3DRIMs located inside a
rectangular cavity with mirrored walls. Light from an input fiber is redirected by the 3DRIMs, and caused to
reflect within the cavity a number of times, depending on the rotational angle of the 3DRIMs. In this way, the
ODL can achieve variable optical delays of up to 3.7 nsec.
A robotic-based microassembly process has been successfully applied to the construction of a novel micromirror
design for use in optical switching. This paper is devoted to the description of a modified microassembly
technique to construct a 3-D rotating inclined micromirror (3DRIM) that incorporate large micromirrors. The
microassembly process is based upon the PMKIL (Passive Microgripper, Key and Inter-Lock) assembly system.
The new modified assembly technique uses three supporting microparts: Two support posts and one cross-support
post. Details of the assembly process to construct the micromirror and the design of the microparts are
described. The results of the assembly process are presented, along with examples of prototype 3DRIMs. The
3DRIM is used as a building element for 1×N optical switching systems and for N ×M optical cross-connects.
A robotic-based microassembly process has been successfully applied to the construction of a novel
micro-mirror design for use in optical switching. This paper is devoted to the description of the
microassembly process used to construct the 3D micro-mirror. The microassembly process is based upon the
PMKIL (Passive Microgripper, Key and Inter-Lock) assembly system. Details of the assembly process
include, the methodology to construct the micro-mirror, the design of the micro-mirror parts, and the design
of the tools (microgrippers) that are mounted to the robot to handle the micro-parts. The results of the
assembly process are presented, along with examples of prototype 3D micro-mirrors. The entire 3D micromirror
consists of a novel electro-static rotary motor, onto which the 3D mirror structure is assembled. The
3D micro-mirror is used as a building element for 1 N optical switching systems and for N×M optical crossconnects.
A novel microassembly system has been developed to assemble surface micromachined micro-parts, into 3D microstructures. This work describes the tether and joint design of micro-parts used in the microassembly process. The process consists of (a) grasping a micro-part which is tethered to the substrate of a chip, (b) removing the micro-part from the substrate by breaking the tethers, (c) manipulating the micro-part from its original location of fabrication to the target assembly location, and (d) joining the micro-part to another micro-part. In this way, out-of-plane or in-plane microstructures can be assembled from a set of initially planar micro-parts. The tether design is an integral part of the grasping and removal process. The tethers provide restraint on the micro-parts while they are grasped by a passive, compliant microgripper, and are designed to break-away at pre-defined locations, after the grasping process. In addition, the tethers ensure that the micro-parts do not translate or rotate from their fabricated and released positions,
during transportation of the carrier chip. The joint system used to join micro-parts together is called "snap-lock’ microassembly. It is based on the elastic deflection of a plug feature that forms an interference fit with a mating slot feature.