Miniaturized structured illumination microscopy using two 3-axis MEMS micromirrors

Tinning, Peter and Donnachie, Mark and Christopher, Jay and Uttamchandani, Deepak and Bauer, Ralf (2022) Miniaturized structured illumination microscopy using two 3-axis MEMS micromirrors. Biomedical Optics Express, 13 (12). pp. 6443-6456. ISSN 2156-7085 (

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We present the development and performance characterisation of a novel structured illumination microscope (SIM) in which the grating pattern is generated using two optical beams controlled via 2 micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) three-axis scanning micromirrors. The implementation of MEMS micromirrors to accurately and repeatably control angular, radial and phase positioning delivers flexible control of the fluorescence excitation illumination, with achromatic beam delivery through the same optical path, reduced spatial footprint and cost-efficient integration being further benefits. Our SIM architecture enables the direct implementation of multi-color imaging in a compact and adaptable package. The two-dimensional SIM system approach is enabled by a pair of 2 mm aperture electrostatically actuated three-axis micromirrors having static angular tilt motion along the x- and y-axes and static piston motion along the z-axis. This allows precise angular, radial and phase positioning of two optical beams, generating a fully controllable spatial interference pattern at the focal plane by adjusting the positions of the beam in the back-aperture of a microscope objective. This MEMS-SIM system was applied to fluorescent bead samples and cell specimens, and was able to obtain a variable lateral resolution improvement between 1.3 and 1.8 times the diffraction limited resolution.