Recent Development in Applications of Optical MEMS: A Review

Author Name(s): Poorvi K. Joshi
Author Email: joshipk@rknec.edu

Abstract

Recent development of optical MEMS emphasis on application in the field of telecommunications, various sensors and micro mirror devices are few examples. Different optical devices and systems reported and explained the major difficulties in its development as well as performance. Advantages of optical MEMS are miniaturization, integration and mass production which create lot of potential to carry out research in this area. Focus of presented review is to explore the areas for future research work. Also, to identify the key and important issues related with optical MEMS and try to develop a technology to mitigate these issues. Keywords MEMS, MOEMS Devices, Sensors, Micro Mirrors

Introduction

Miniaturization of devices or mechanical elements is important issue in development of new technology. A micro-optoelctro-mechanical system (MOEMS) is miniaturized devices which measures and manipulates optical signals upon actuation of mechanical signals. Over a last decade it gains very importance for industrial application in terms of sensors or actuators. Recent advances in MOEMS technologies make optical system more robust and allow designing simpler. Now a days, applications of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and MOEMS are in consumer, industrial, automotive, avionic, and biomedical fields. Various forces acting on devices, improved functionalities and environment conditions affecting the working of devices are the important issues in improvement of design and integration of MOEMS devices. The development in new technology paves way for wider applications of MOEMS devices for future. Packaging of optical component and placing of it on the mechanical structure are the key issue for precise working and functional reliability of the devices. MEMS scanning mirrors are the commonly used MOEMS devices and all have a movable mirror plate. It is very important to measure and control the displacement and/or rotation angle of the mirror plate. A miniaturized micromechanical element performs various optical functions; alter the profile or track intensity and phase of optical beam. All these actions are achieved by physical displacement like; revolution of mirrors, pressure, stresses, temperature variations which produces optical effect in MOEMS devices. Simulation technique based on beam tracing or by the scalar scattering theory where the scattering parameters are calibrated by comparison with experiential data. A widely used solver of Maxwell equations is based on the Rigorous Coupled-Wave Method (RCWA). In presented review applications of optical MEMS and issues related to optical MEMS devices applications are discussed.

 

Conclusion

Focus of presented review is to explore the areas for future research work. Also, to identify the key and important issues related with optical MEMS devices and try to develop a technology to mitigate these issues. Following are the concluding points drawn from the literature review discussed in earlier section. High sensitive low frequency (MOEMS) vibration sensor can be used for seismology and medical applications. Use of MOEMS deformable mirrors in harsh environment and to improve operational stability are key issues. There is scope of development of MEMS/MOEMS sensor analytical and simulation model for harsh/toxic environment, thermal variation or for critical applications. Integrated optics based on photonic crystals can be used to develop novel MOEMS devices. MOEMS accelerometer sensor with photonic crystal can be used for safety of passengers in future. MOEMS accelerometer sensor working in multiple directions and axis can be designed and to improve operating range of sensor. MOEMS vibrations sensors with higher sensitivity can be developed by adjusting the stiffness and mass (mechanical parameters) and also gain more bandwidth by decreasing the response frequency for displacement sensing. Improvement in MOEMS design and optical coating can cater to the applications such as range finding, target tracking and optical gas sensing. Development in the area of active materials for MOEMS devices combines the optical and micro mechanical functions. Integrating MEMS with organic components can be used for low cost fabrication of printable device. Reliability and sensitivity of MEMS/MOOEMS devices are technological issues to be taken care in future

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