Thomas G. Bifano
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
MEMS Arrays for Fluidic and Optical Control
Abstract: Two new types of silicon MEMS arrays for micro-fluidic control and for micro-optical control are described. The fluidic device consists of parallel arrays of electrostatically actuated, bistable mechanical micro-valves for precision control of flow. These devices will find end uses in process control of pressure and flow rate, biomedical dosing, fluidic mixing, active micro-cooling (e.g. for electronic chips), and other flow control applications. The micro valves and micro-pumps described provide basic building blocks for fluidic MEMS devices such as micro-turbine power systems, lightweight, user worn biological and chemical analysis systems, micro-cooling and mixing systems, and micro-chemical processing systems. The optical device is a silicon deformable mirror, capable of correcting time varying aberrations in imaging or beam forming applications. Each mirror is composed of a flexible silicon membrane supported by an underlying array of electrostatic parallel plate actuators. Several deformable mirrors are characterized for their electromechanical performance. Real-time correction of optical aberrations is demonstrated using a single mirror segment connected to a closed loop feedback control system. Control of optical phase with a 100 actuator mirror is described.