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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 28 — Oct. 1, 1998
  • pp: 6811–6815

Applications of shape memory alloys in optics

Boonsong Sutapun, Massood Tabib-Azar, and Michael A. Huff  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 28, pp. 6811-6815 (1998)

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The application of shape memory alloy (SMA) thin films in optical devices is introduced and explored for the first time. Physical and optical properties of titanium–nickel (TiNi) SMA thin films change as these films undergo phase transformation on heating. An optical beam can be modulated either mechanically with a TiNi actuator or by the changes that occur in TiNi’s optical properties upon heating and phase transformation. Reflection coefficients of TiNi films were measured in their so-called martensitic (room-temperature) and austenitic (elevated-temperature) phases. The reflection coefficients of the austenitic phase were higher than those of the martensitic phase by more than 45% in the wavelength range between 550 and 850 nm. Also, a microfabricated TiNi diaphragm with a 0.26-mm-diameter hole was used as a prototype light valve. The intensity of the transmitted light through the hole was reduced by 10%–17% when the diaphragm was heated. A novel TiNi light valve fabricated by using silicon micromachining techniques is also proposed and discussed. We present both optical data and structural data obtained by using transmission electron microscopies.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.4080) Fiber optics and optical communications : Modulation
(310.1860) Thin films : Deposition and fabrication
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties
(310.6870) Thin films : Thin films, other properties

Original Manuscript: March 12, 1998
Revised Manuscript: May 5, 1998
Published: October 1, 1998

Boonsong Sutapun, Massood Tabib-Azar, and Michael A. Huff, "Applications of shape memory alloys in optics," Appl. Opt. 37, 6811-6815 (1998)

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