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Integrated self-assembling and holding technique applied to a 3-D MEMS variable optical attenuator

Li, L. and Zawadzka, Justyna and Uttamchandani, D.G. (2004) Integrated self-assembling and holding technique applied to a 3-D MEMS variable optical attenuator. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 13 (1). pp. 83-90. ISSN 1057-7157

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Abstract

The application of polysilicon/gold bimorph stress-induced curved beams for three-dimensional self-assembly of MEMS devices is reported. The mechanical principle behind this self-assembling procedure is presented and comparison with current assembling methods are made. With this self-assembling technique, no postprocessing is required. A free-space optical MEMS device in the form of a variable optical attenuator (VOA) has been fabricated and self-assembled using this technique. The angular elevation of the self-assembled structures and the attenuation characteristics of the optical MEMS device are reported. The VOA has a measured dynamic attenuation range of 44 dB at 1.55 /spl mu/m optical wavelength. The bending of the bimorph beams is also temperature controllable, and the thermal behavior of the beams is also reported.