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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 6 — Mar. 17, 2008
  • pp: 3701–3711

A MEMS light modulator based on diffractive nanohole gratings

Jack L. Skinner, A. Alec Talin, and David A. Horsley  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 6, pp. 3701-3711 (2008)

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We present the design, fabrication, and testing of a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) light modulator based on pixels patterned with periodic nanohole arrays. Flexure-suspended silicon pixels are patterned with a two dimensional array of 150 nm diameter nanoholes using nanoimprint lithography. A top glass plate assembled above the pixel array is used to provide a counter electrode for electrostatic actuation. The nanohole pattern is designed so that normally-incident light is coupled into an in-plane grating resonance, resulting in an optical stop-band at a desired wavelength. When the pixel is switched into contact with the top plate, the pixel becomes highly reflective. A 3:1 contrast ratio at the resonant wavelength is demonstrated for gratings patterned on bulk Si substrates. The switching time is 0.08 ms and the switching voltage is less than 15V.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(230.4110) Optical devices : Modulators
(160.3918) Materials : Metamaterials
(160.4236) Materials : Nanomaterials
(050.6624) Diffraction and gratings : Subwavelength structures
(230.7408) Optical devices : Wavelength filtering devices

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: January 14, 2008
Revised Manuscript: February 28, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: March 1, 2008
Published: March 5, 2008

Jack L. Skinner, A. Alec Talin, and David A. Horsley, "A MEMS light modulator based on diffractive nanohole gratings," Opt. Express 16, 3701-3711 (2008)

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