High-speed primitive optical modulation is widely employed across applications in microscopy, material processing, adaptive optics and augmented/virtual reality. Despite this ubiquity, the embodiments of specific optical modulation tools may vary considerably as a result of the specific performance needs of each application. We present here a consolidated modular framework for the systemic design of high-speed (~10 kHz) array-based optical modulation devices requiring limited degrees of freedom (~10-100). The proposed framework combines a semi-custom commercial fabrication process with a comprehensive simulation pipeline in order to optimally reconfigure pixel wiring schemes for the efficient allocation of available degrees of freedom. By decoupling the pixel-level building blocks determining transduction characteristics from the array-scale partitioning geometry determining overall optical functionality, the framework is able to produce tailored array-scale designs that are both robust to process variations and easily reconfigurable for adaptation to alternative specifications. As a demonstration of this framework, phase-shifting piston-motion parallel-plate capacitive micromirrors were designed and fabricated in small array formats for preliminary assessment and characterization under MEMSCAP’s standard PolyMUMPs process. Once a suitable micromirror structure was identified, an axial focusing array with a simulated optical power range of ±2.89 diopters was subsequently designed via an iterative ring partitioning process and a Monte Carlo-based simulation pipeline that accounted for experimentally measured spatial variations in pixel performance.




Download Full History