Optical microsystems enable high-resolution fast light control

14th April 2022
Sam Holland

The photonic systems of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS can modulate light using small deflectable mirrors to create images and structures in a unique way. Accordingly, the research institute is developing spatial light modulators with up to several million mirrors on a semiconductor chip.

The main areas of application for mirror matrices are in the fields of microlithography in the deep ultraviolet range, production of printed circuit boards, semiconductor inspection and metrology, as well as in adaptive optics, astronomy, holography and microscopy. With its developments in this field, Fraunhofer IPMS is currently a world leader.

The latest development of Fraunhofer IPMS is a CMOS-integrated micro mirror array with two tilting axes per mirror and associated technology platform. In addition to its use in the semiconductor industry, the innovation enables novel methods of imaging in microscopy, especially for biomedical applications. The latter are realised in cooperation with the 'Fraunhofer center for Microelectronic and Optical Systems for Biomedicine' (MEOS) within the Fraunhofer IPMS.

At the 25th world's leading trade fair for photonics components, systems and applications LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich from the 26th to the 29th of April 2022, visitors can find out about the latest developments at Fraunhofer IPMS. As Dr Michael Wagner, head of the Spatial Light Modulators business unit at Fraunhofer IPMS explains: "One of our exhibits is the 2-axis tilting mirror demonstrator, which can be applied in optical beam steering, among other applications.

"In general, the micro mirrors of the IPMS spatial light modulators are individually tilted or deflected vertically, depending on the application, so that optical patterns are projected and thereby for example surface structures are formed. Using the tilting mirror macromodels, visitors can also move the micro mirrors of the spatial light modulators themselves using a large model and gain an impression of the deflection functionalities that are possible."

The Fraunhofer IPMS exhibition booth is located at booth #B4.239.

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