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Optical MEMS


Micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS) typically require optical surfaces with high flatness and low roughness to be combined with high quality mechanical parts and low power, high force microactuators. In the past, attention has concentrated overwhelmingly on polysilicon surface micromachining, which allows an extremely flexible approach to the design of complex optical systems. However, polysilicon components typically suffer from poor surface flatness and high roughness, and lack the strength and rigidity to support and manipulate macroscopic optical components, which often have weights in the milligram range. Bonded silicon on insulator (BSOI) material provides an excellent alternative, allowing high optical quality to be combined with high mechanical strength. This talk will review a number of different approaches to BSOI MEMS, including surface tension self-assembly (for 3D MOEMS), deep reactive ion etching (for in-plane devices) and double-sided processing (for through wafer devices). Applications ranging from variable optical attenuators to tunable laser systems will be described. Methods of mounting, aligning and fixing hybrid-integrated components will also be considered, together with appropriate high-force micro-actuators.

Speaker Biographical Sketch

Richard R.A. Syms was born in Norfolk, VA, in 1958. He received the BA degree in Engineering Science in 1979, and the D.Phil. degree (on volume holographic optical elements) in 1982, both Oxford University. He has been Head of the Optical and Semiconductor Devices Group in the EEE Dept., Imperial College London, UK, since 1992 and Professor of Microsystems Technology since 1996. He currently lectures on guided wave optics, electromagnetic theory and MEMS. He has published over 120 journal papers, 100 conference papers and two books on holography, integrated optics, laser and amplifier devices and microengineering. Most recently he has been developing electrical MEMS such as micro-connectors, RF probes for magnetic resonance imaging, and miniature quadrupole mass spectrometers, optical MEMS devices such as alignment devices, variable optical attenuators and tunable lasers, and three-dimensional self-assembling micro-structures. He has consulted widely on guided wave optics and MEMS, and has also been co-founder and Research Director of the MEMS spin-out company Microsaic Systems since 2001. He currently acts as an Associate Editor for the IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems and for Metamaterials. He has served on many MEMS review panels, including for the EPSRC Microsystems Technology Integration Program, and the German, Canadian and Singaporean MEMS programs.

Date: 15 July 2008 (Tuesday)
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Venue: Rm B6605, 6/F, Lift 3, Academic Bldg, City University of Hong Kong,
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon,
Hong Kong.
Fee: Complimentary
Medium of Instruction: English

For seat reservation, please fax the Registration Form to (852)-2788 7579 on/before 14 July 2008.

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