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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Fabrication Process and Electronics Development for Scaling Segmented MEMS DMs, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Fabrication Process and Electronics Development for Scaling Segmented MEMS DMs
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology has the potential to create deformable mirrors (DM) with more than 10^4 actuators that have size, weight, and power specifications that are far lower than conventional piezoelectric and electrostrictive DMs. However, considerable development is necessary to take state-of-the-art DMs today and make them flight-like. This Phase I SBIR proposal addresses two critical areas in MEMS DM development towards the goal of developing flight-like hardware. Namely, Phase I research will further develop Iris AO's proven hybrid MEMS DM technology to: 1) make a critical assembly step in the fabrication process scalable to wafer scales and 2) increase drive electronics resolution to 16 bits while simultaneously reducing power requirements more than three-fold over existing 14-bit resolution electronics. The increased spatial and actuator resolution afforded by the development here will enable picometer resolution DMs required to reach 10^10 contrast levels necessary for direct detection of Earth-sized terrestrial planets. More »

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