SOI based electromagnetic MEMS scanners and their applications in laser systems

Brown, G. and Bauer, R. and Lubeigt, W. and Uttamchandani, D.; Piyawattanametha, W. and Park, Y.H, eds. (2013) SOI based electromagnetic MEMS scanners and their applications in laser systems. In: Moems and Miniaturized Systems XII. Proceedings of SPIE . SPIE, USA. ISBN 9780819493859

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MEMS scanners are of interest for their potential as low-cost, low operating power devices for use in various photonic systems. The devices reported here are actuated by the electromagnetic force between a static external magnetic field and a current flowing through an SOI MEMS scanner. These scanners have several modes of operation: their mirrors may be rotated and maintained at a static angle (up to ± 1.4 degrees), scanned rapidly (up to 500 Hz); or may be operated in a resonance mode, at the device's mechanical resonance frequency (∼1.2 kHz) for higher rate scanning. The use of these scanners as a Q-switching element within a Nd:YAG laser cavity has been demonstrated. Pulse durations of 400 ns were obtained with a pulse energy of 58 μJ and a pulse peak power of 145 W. The use of an external magnetic field, generated by compact rare-earth magnets, allows a simple and cost-effective commercial fabrication process to be employed (the multi-user SOI process provided by MEMSCAP Inc) and avoids the requirement to deposit magnetic materials on the MEMS structure.