centre suisse d électronique et de microtechnique Scientific and Technical Report 2007

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1 centre suisse d électronique et de microtechnique Scientific and Technical Report 2007

2 CSEM Centre Suisse d Electronique et de Microtechnique SA CSEM is a privately held research and development company active in: Applied Research Product Development Prototype and Low-volume Production Technology Consulting Its main fields of activity are micro- and nanotechnologies, microelectronics, systems engineering, microrobotics, photonics, information and communication technologies. In providing its high-tech know-how and technological expertise, CSEM strives to anticipate the future needs of different markets in terms of new technologies and offers its services to industrial customers. It also develops its own commercial activities either together with existing companies or through the creation of spin-offs and start-up companies and actively contributes to developing Switzerland as a hightech industrial location. In July 2007, a major of the Neuchâtel Observatory was integrated into CSEM to continue to develop space-related technologies. CSEM microsystems and miniaturization competences will be a clear advantage in terms of new developments in this area. Furthermore, CSEM opened in August a new research center in Landquart aimed at developing new technologies and competences in nanomedicine. CSEM operates from its headquarters in Neuchatel and also has centers in Zurich, in Landquart and at Alpnach, near Lucerne. It is also internationally active, in many European countries as well as overseas. CSEM is pursuing its geographical expansion strategy on a national as well as an international level. This growth offers medium- and long-term stability, essential in an R&D environment. At the end of 2007, the total number of employees at CSEM was 348 of which 26 were Ph.D candidates. Additionally, approximately 500 people are employed by the 26 spin-offs and start-ups created to date. In 2007, CSEM earned 58.1 million Swiss francs and presented a positive balance sheet.

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4 CONTENTS PREFACE 5 RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN ThruCOS From Biosensor Chip to Robust Analytical System 9 Counterfeit Machine Readable Covert Security Feature 10 MicroMec Microtechnology for Silicon Compliant Structures 11 ArrayFM An Atomic Force Microscope Using 2-Dimensional Probe Arrays 12 MicroStruc Integrated Optical Polymer Platform, Low Cost Assembly and Packaging 13 Encoder Nanometric Optical Absolute Position Encoder 14 RISE The Rich Sensing Concept 15 PackTime Zero-Level Packaging of Silicon Time-base 16 TissueOptics Portable SpO2 Monitor: a Fast Response Approach Tested in an Altitude Chamber 18 TUGON Compact MEMS-based Spectrometers for Infra-Red Spectroscopy 19 Solar Islands A Novel Approach to Cost Efficient Solar Power Plants 21 MICROELECTRONICS 23 Data Fusion for Wireless Distributed Tracking Systems 24 High Dynamic Range Versatile Front-End for Vision Systems 25 A High-Performance 2.4 GHz RF Front-End in a 90 nm Process 26 Direct Modulation RF Transmitter and Super- Heterodyne Low-IF Receiver Development Platform for 868 MHz and 915 MHz ISM Bands 27 Quasi-Harmonic Quadrature CMOS Relaxation Oscillator 28 Silicon Resonators: Thermal Compensation and Q Factor Optimization 29 icycam, a System-On Chip (SoC) for Vision Applications 30 Programmable Multi-Processor Engine for Ultra-Low- Power Single-Chip DVB Receiver 31 PHOTONICS 33 Miniaturized 360 -Camera Module for Collision Avoidance 34 Optoelectronic Test Equipment for Image Sensors and Systems Qualification 35 Highly Integrated Optical Linear Encoder 36 Compact Illumination Modules Based on High-Power VCSEL Arrays 37 Generic Framework for Feature Extraction in Vision 38 Efficient Screening and Formulation Optimization for Polymer LEDs 39 Polymer LEDs Patterned by Ink-Jet Printing 40 Optical Fill Factor Enhancement for Smart Pixels 41 MICRO AND NANOTECHNOLOGY 43 Dissolved Oxygen Sensor with Self-Cleaning and Self- Calibration 44 Microfabricated Membranes for Cell Layer Culture and Analysis 45 Metal Micro-Parts Fabrication 46 Scintillating Fiber Probes for Neurophysiology 47 Towards an Optical Switch with J-aggregates Monolayers 48 Colour Filters Using Polystyrene Microspheres 49 Towards Plasmon Enhanced Detectors 50 Unique Marking for Traceability and Anti-Counterfeiting Applications 51 Sol-Gel based Nanoporous Layers as New Sensing Interfaces 52 High Aspect Ratio Nanopores in MEMS Compatible Substrates 53 Nanoporous Membranes for Medical Diagnostics and Drug Discovery 54 Stimuli-Responsive Surfaces and Smart Coatings 55 Parallel Nanoscale Dispensing of Liquids for Biological Analysis 56 Electrospun Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering 57 Detection Methods for Nanotoxicology 58 Using Microtopography to Study Cell Elasticity 59 Composite Materials for Bone Implants 60 Simultaneous Detection of Four Antibiotic Families in Milk for Customer Safety 61 Smart Wound Dressing with Integrated Biosensors 62 Biosensors for Drug Prevention 63 Food Safety with the Help of a Miniaturized Laboratory 64 Wearable Biosensors in Protective Clothing 65 3

5 NANOMEDICINE 67 Robust Label-Free Biosensor using BRIGHT Technology 68 X-Ray Microscopy and Micrometer-Resolution Computer Tomography 69 SYSTEMS ENGINEERING 71 Micro-Vibration Analysis Setup for MEMS and MOEMS Characterization 72 Clinical Validation Results of the Long-Term Medical Survey System 73 ActiSmile A Portable Biofeedback Device on Physical Activity 75 Prediction of Neurocardiovascular Events 76 Reaction Sphere for Attitude Control 77 Continuous Arterial Blood Pressure Monitoring: Can the Cuff Be Got Rid of? 78 WISE Wireless Solutions for the Aeronautics Industry 79 UWB Antenna with Improved Bandwidth and Spatial Diversity using RF-MEMS Switches 80 FM-UWB A Low Data Rate (LDR) UWB Approach with Short Synchronization Time and Robustness to Interference and Frequency-Selective Multipath 81 A Wireless Sensor Network for Fire and Flood Detection at the Wild and-urban Interface 82 Exploiting Directive Antennas for Wireless Sensor Networks 83 A MAC Protocol for UWB-IR Wireless Sensor Networks 84 Optimum Operating Regimes for Wireless Sensor Networks 85 Wireless Sensor Networks for Monitoring Cliffs in the Alps 86 Control Electronics for Bio-Sensing Textiles to Support Health Management 87 Wearable Systems to Protect Rescuers and Firefighters during Operations 88 MEMS Based Miniature Catheter Probe for Ultrasound Imaging 89 Flip Chip Bonding on Polymers Die Attach and Leak- Tight Sealing 99 Optical / Fluidic Integration of Silicon-Based Hollow Waveguides 100 Novel Injection-Free Method for Intraepidermal Delivery of Large Molecular Weight Drugs 101 TIME AND FREQUENCY 103 PRN-cw Backscatter Lidar Prototype 104 Space Hydrogen Active Maser 105 COMLAB 107 Quality Control 108 ANNEXES 109 Publications 109 Proceedings 110 Conferences and Workshops 113 Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology (CCMX) and National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Projects 121 Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) 121 European Community Projects 122 European Space Agency (ESA), European Southern Observatory (ESO) and Astrophysical Instrument Projects 123 Industrial Property 124 Collaboration with Research Institutes and Universities 124 Teaching 126 Theses 129 Commissions and Committees 130 Prizes and Awards 132 MICROROBOTICS 91 NanoHand A System for Automated Nano-Handling An Integrated EU Project 92 Microfactory A Flexible Assembly Platform 93 Isolation and Reversible Immobilization of Single Cells 94 Bonding of Glass or Silicon Chips with a Self-Sealing Photostructurable Elastomer 95 Sensor and Connector Integration into Microfluidic Systems using Biocompatible Tape Gaskets 96 Pressure Sensing Strip for Rapid Aerodynamic Testing 97 Pressure Sensing Strip Packaging Aspects 98 4

6 PREFACE Dear Reader, In this report, CSEM presents the main results of its research activities during the year Our research is aimed at commercial innovation and is very much orientated towards product applications. Using the know-how resulting from this special research, we maintain and increase our technology know-how, in order to create and develop our so-called technology platforms. We have defined seven priority domains for CSEM: Integrated Systems for Information Technology Photonics Micro- and Nanotechnology Nanomedicine Systems Engineering Micro robotics and Packaging Time and Frequency It should be noted that the research activities, as described in the following pages, are financed by federal (80%) and cantonal funds (20%). We would like to thank all public authorities, federal and cantonal, who made this report possible! We use our technology platforms for three main strategic goals: 1. To guarantee the sustainability of our technology competences and to be able to remain at the forefront of micro- and nanotechnology and related system engineering technology. 2. To make these competences available to our industrial customers, thus bringing new technologies to new markets. 3. To create start-ups in cases where new product ideas are not taken up by industry in Switzerland. As underlined above, CSEM research activities have mainly a commercial goal. Our measure of success is therefore the number of commercial applications and of patentable ideas. We would like to thank all our partners (EPFL, IMT, ETHZ, CEA / Léti-Liten, Fraunhofer Group Microelectronics VµE, and many others). And, most of all, we would like to thank all who have contributed to this report. I hope you will like it! Thomas Hinderling CEO, CSEM 5

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8 RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN 2007 Alex Dommann Today, industries are looking for complete solutions. In particular, innovative products exhibit a technological complexity, which can seldom be handled by a single technology provider. One of CSEM strengths is to offer this wide spectrum of technologies under one roof. CSEM is proud to offer its industrial clients a rich portfolio of technologies and a sound know-how of how to apply and realize innovative products based on Micro and Nanotechnologies. To maintain this portfolio in a healthy state the Swiss Federal and Cantonal Governments provide the necessary funding to run an applied research program. In the frame of the applied research nine multidisciplinary integrated projects (MIPs) built on several existing CSEM technologies were launched. MIPs are planned on a tight time-schedule of typically 2 years from the beginning to the realization of the demonstrator. Based on the market-oriented research strategy of CSEM ten MIPs were selected. A larger interdisciplinary demonstrator project is Solar Island (see below) fully financed externally but also dwelling on many different resources of CSEM, including industrialization. Further details on the nine MIP activities can also be found in this Scientific and Technical Report. ThruCOS From Biosensor Chip to Robust Analytical System In order to accurately control a biomolecular reaction, it is necessary to control the fluidic flow as well as the temperature of the reaction. Therefore, the wavelength interrogated optical sensing system (WIOS), previously developed at CSEM, has been updated with a fluidic cartridge and a temperature stabilized measurement chamber. In the future, this system will be industrialized by the start-up company Dynetix. Counterfeit Machine Readable Covert Security Feature By combining Micro and Nano technologies CSEM developed a security system to directly mark products and verify their authenticity. Due to forged products various industry sectors experience huge damages accounting to several hundred billion US Dollars a year. The development and implementation of new security systems opens a huge market to be exploited. In order to meet these requirements, CSEM designed a new system showing two main characteristics: A random pattern which is difficult to be copied was developed as a main security feature. In order to read those random patterns an instrument was developed which is able to read those features only by authorized persons. MicroMec Microtechnology for Silicon Compliant Structures The target of this project is the development of a microfabricated silicon compliant structure for mechanical applications and its understanding of the aging behaviour. MEMS can be made highly reliable, but it must however be noted that the failure modes of MEMS can be different from those of solid-state electronics. Therefore testing techniques are developed to accelerate MEMS-specific failures. Monocrystalline material and, especially, silicon is preferentially used due to its potential resistance against aging. ArrayFM An Atomic Force Microscope Using 2-Dimensional Probe Arrays In this multidisciplinary integrated project, an atomic force microscope able to investigate large sample surfaces with nanometric resolution was developed. Instead of a single probe, this novel microscope uses a 2-dimensional array of probes operating in parallel. Applications of this microscope include the biology domain, quality control, as well as material and surface characterization. MicroStruc Integrated Optical Polymer Platform, Low Cost Assembly and Packaging An integrated optics platform based on polymers as a low-cost alternative to glass and semiconductor waveguides has been developed from the design to the complete assembly and packaging of the devices. Although silica-on-silicon PLCs are well established they are still rather expensive as the processing and packaging is costly. Therefore, polymer PLCs potentially provide a promising alternative if low cost over the whole manufacturing process can be obtained. First demonstrators were already built. Encoder Nanometric Optical Absolute Position Encoder An optical absolute position encoder principle is presented which can combine many attractive features such as 24 bit resolution per 100 mm, compact design, optic-less shadow imaging, sampling rate exceeding 1 MHz and robustness. The detectable displacement is several hundred times smaller than the wavelength of the light and only 10 times larger than the diameter of the silicon atom. RISE the Rich Sensing Concept Within the RISE project a camera-based wireless sensor network for people detection and tracking purposes has been implemented. This sensor network, which is based on three vision sensors and two 3D time-of-flight cameras, is an ideal test-bed for long-term operational tests and the development of advanced algorithms. Furthermore, the installation is well suited for life demonstration purposes. PackTime Zero-Level Packaging of Silicon Time-base The development of a thermally compensated silicon timebase and the associated packaging to yield a miniature vacuum-sealed cavity around the resonator requires multidisciplinary competences in the fields of IC, MEMS design/fabrication, packaging, finite element modeling and metrology. This is the goal of the PackTime MIP. 7

9 TissueOptics Portable SpO2 Monitor: A Fast Response Approach, Tested in an Altitude Chamber Altitude is hazardous for the human body, with the oxygen delivery to the cells being jeopardized. The prototype of an advanced oxygen saturation monitoring sensor, embedded in a commercial earphone, was successfully tested in an altitude chamber. TUGON Compact MEMS-based Spectrometers for Infra- Red Spectroscopy Deformable MEMS diffraction gratings have great promise as tuning elements for external cavity lasers and for compact spectrometers. The challenge is to make high efficiency tunable MEMS gratings and incorporate them into practical devices. CSEM successfully designed, fabricated and tested MEMS gratings. Their spectral response was tested and the potential to design ultra-compact spectrometers based around this technology was shown. Solar Islands A Novel Approach to Cost Efficient Solar Power Plants Existing Solar Power Plants are too small, need complex constructions and drive systems to follow the altitude of the sun and have a limited use factor of the area. Therefore the generated energy is too expensive. The target of the new concept Solar Islands is to improve all these cost factors and to end up with a cost per kwh which is competitive with the energy costs of today. Furthermore the design as a floating island allows not only the application on land, but also on lakes, lagoons or on high sea. The vision is to build very large islands, floating on the pacific, that could contribute 1/4th of the estimated global energy demand in In 2007 the CSEM filed 23 new patent applications, 34 invention reports were submitted for examination and extension of 21 patents on prior patent applications in different countries were filed in. From the collaboration agreement between CEA / Léti and the Fraunhofer Group Microelectronics (VµE) three working groups emerged: the polymer platform, the joint design team and the joint reliability team. It is also important to note the creation of two new divisions at CSEM: Time and Frequency in Neuchatel and Nanomedicine in Landquart. 8

10 ThruCOS From Biosensor Chip to Robust Analytical System G. Voirin, R. Ischer, E. Bernard, G. Suarez, J. Auerswald, L. Davoine, M. Wiki, S. Berchtold, N. Schmid In order to accurately control a biomolecular reaction, it is necessary to control the fluidic flow and the temperature of the reaction. Therefore, the wavelength interrogated optical sensing system (WIOS), previously developed at CSEM, has been updated with a fluidic cartridge and a temperature stabilized measurement chamber. In the future, this system will be industrialized by the start-up company Dynetix. In recent years, CSEM has developed a biosensor platform based on glass chips. It is a general platform that has been used to demonstrate the potential of the wavelength interrogated optical sensing system (WIOS). However, this platform must be adapted to fit new applications, for example, an analytical laboratory system or a specific detection system for antibiotics [1]. Therefore, a specific fluidic system which allows several re-configurations has been developed. In addition, a temperature controller has also been integrated into the fluidic chip system to improve the reliability of the measurements. The glass chip consists of a glass substrate covered by a high refractive index waveguide layer, and several grating regions which form a matrix of sensing pads on the chip. Specific recognition molecules can be attached to each grating pad as a means of detecting different molecular targets. The specific binding of molecules translates into a change of the refractive index of the sensing layer. The refractive index is measured by determining the resonance wavelength of the waveguide grating pads using a wavelength tunable laser. To this end, the laser wavelength is periodically swept while the coupled light intensity is recorded. The laser illuminates eight grating pads simultaneously which are independently analysed. The designed fluidic cartridge is divided in two parts: the first part is a support for the glass chip that defines the microfluidic channels over each of the grating pads using a thickness controlled double sided tape; the the second part defines the fluidic channels for addressing each individual sensing pad. Two different fluidic circuits have been designed for a multipurpose laboratory analytical system. In one design, each pad is addressed individually; there is one fluidic inlet and one fluidic outlet per grating pad. In the other design, the grating pads are serially addressed and the cartridge has only one inlet and one outlet (Figure 1). The first design will be used for the functionalization of the grating pads with different capture molecules, while the second design will be used to test a fluid sample for different target molecules in a single measurement. IN OUT Cross section 4cm Cartridge thinned down ca. 0.5mm for temperature stabilization of flow-cell region Size ca. 8mm x 14mm with replication technologies in plastic substrates was also performed; however, the performances are not yet sufficient and the fabrication will be optimized. For analytical applications in the laboratory, the temperature of the biomolecular reaction must be controlled and reproducible. In order to maintain a fixed temperature on the chip and in the measurement fluid, the cartridge is enclosed in a temperature stabilized measurement chamber. The temperature of the chamber is then set using a Peltier element controlled with a feedback-loop system. Inlet Outlet Figure 2: View of the fluidic cartridge with one inlet and one outlet The system depicted in Figure 3 was used successfully in a set-up phase to implement the immunoassay protocol for antibiotic detection on the WIOS instrument in the frame of the CCMX project Lab-On-A-Chip [1]. The temperature control system is able to stabilize the temperature to within 0.01 C in the range of 15 to 40 C. Figure 3: Temperature stabilization system including the cartridge WIOS and supporting development have lead to the creation of the start-up company Dynetix [2], which will take over the industrialization and the commercialization of the analytical system for laboratory applications. This work was funded by the OFFT, the cantons of Central Switzerland, the Micro Center Central Switzerland (MCCS), and European Projects FP6-NMP-STRP & NMP3-CT CSEM thanks them for their support. Fluidic Gasket - double side adhesive tape - patterned by laser cutting WIOS Chip Figure 1: Schematic of one of the fluidic circuitries in the cartridge Fluidic cartridges were fabricated using micromilling technology in PMMA (Figure 2). Fabrication of the WIOS chips [1] G. Voirin, et al., Simultaneous Detection of Four Antibiotic Families in Milk for Customer Safety, in this report, page 61 [2] 9

11 Counterfeit Machine Readable Covert Security Feature J. Pierer, U. Gubler, N. Blondiaux, R. Pugin, C. Keck, H. Walter By combining Micro and Nano technologies CSEM has developed a security system to directly mark products and verify their authenticity. Due to forged products various industry sectors experience huge damages accounting to several hundred billion US Dollars a year [1]. Consequently, extensive efforts are made to increase protection of products at risk. The development and implementation of new security systems opens a huge market to be exploited. However, to understand this market, one has to understand the characteristics of security features. Most safety features and safety equipment are safe only for a short period of time, depending on how long it takes for forgers to counterfeit the technique. Extending the secure period of a safety device is therefore one of the most important requirements when developing new security systems. In order to meet these requirements, CSEM designed a new system showing two main characteristics: A random pattern [2] which is difficult to be copied was developed as a main security feature In order to read those random patterns an instrument was developed which is able to read those features, but is no use to somebody who does not know what to look for. By process control these patterns can be designed to meet certain specifications with regard to the features of average size and consequently average period. Their organization, however, remains completely random. The coherent light of a laser is used to illuminate the pattern. The light is scattered on each element of the structure. Every single element can then be seen as a new source of light. Investigating the intensity of the scattered light at any point in space will result in a value given by the superposition of the light of all these sources. Depending on incidence angle, structure period and wavelength of the light one gets a particular intensity distribution. However, since the features are randomly aligned the image shows a so called speckle pattern (Figure 1). Analyzing characteristic parameters of the speckle pattern or the smooth distribution identifies uniquely either a particular security item (e.g. credit card) or the technology with which the pattern was created. We have built a small electronic prototype to demonstrate the feasibility and ruggedness of this new technique. A small laser diode with an integrated focusing lens was used as source, a silicon photodiode array as detector to build the prototype. All components, including a micro controller, were assembled on a printed circuit board. The micro controller compares the sample under investigation with an inbuilt reference and communicates the result via a green/red LED to the human observer. For obvious reasons credit cards were chosen to demonstrate the new security feature. The credit card is inserted into the device through a standard smartcard holder. The cardholder holds the credit card in place with a repeatable accuracy exceeding 40 µm, which is sufficient for these purposes. As can be seen in Figure 2 the entire setup fits into a small box leaving plenty of space. Figure 2: Demonstrator The results of this project have proven that the implementation of these newly developed security features is possible with very simple low cost components. CSEM security system is difficult to counterfeit and is mass producible. The developed authentication device is easy to use, compact and can be built in into other devices, such as automatic teller machines. CSEM new security features offer a promising way to prevent counterfeiting for an extended period of time. [1] G. W. Abbot, L. S. Sporn, Trademark Counterfeiting 1.03[A] Figure 1: Image of a speckle pattern on a paper target, left: small spot illuminated, right: large spot illuminated [2] Patents pending When illuminating a small spot of the security feature (about 30 µm) a well distinguishable speckle pattern becomes visible. By enlarging this area up to a few millimetres, the speckles are averaged and a smooth distribution is visible. 10

12 MicroMec Microtechnology for Silicon Compliant Structures C. Verjus, J.-M. Major, T. Overstolz, A. Hoogerwerf, A. Ibzazene, A. Neels, A. Schifferle, A. Dommann The target of this project is the development of a microfabricated silicon compliant structure for mechanical applications and its understanding of the aging behaviour. MEMS can be made highly reliable, but it must however be noted that the failure modes of MEMS can be different from those of solid-state electronics. Therefore testing techniques must be developed to accelerate MEMS-specific failures [1]. of the thin Silicon beam. The appearance of diffused scattering in the RSM (Figure 2) is related to the beam bending strain. Elastic deformation in the test structure was observed. Monocrystalline material and, especially, silicon is preferentially used due to its potential resistance against aging. However, quantified results of this fact are rarely published. The reasons are manifold; however they are also related to the surface roughness as well as to the defect concentration of the etched surfaces due to the ion bombardment [2]. Deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates allows the fabrication of structures with arbitrary shapes (2D) that are vertically extruded by removing excess silicon. Test structures can be built from single crystalline silicon by DRIE processes. Mechanical tests on these structures in relation with simulations of stresses and the experimental determination of the strain / stress behavior and defect analysis by High Resolution Diffraction Methods (HRXRD) give very important information about the device and its long term stability. A silicon beam structure processed by DRIE (Figure 1) has been studied. Simulations have been done related to mechanical shifts applied to the entire silicon structure which results in the generation of strain in the small silicon beams having a thickness of 50 µm. In dependance of the position of the beam in the structure, stresses ranging from about 60 to 1100 MPA are calculated by simulations. Figure 2: Diffused scattering in the RSM of compliant structure The study of mechanical tests combined with simulations and related HRXRD measurements results in a better understanding of the material properties. The generation of defects in the material and their increase related to mechanical stresses or other environemental influences is an important issue as it is directly related to the device performance and its long term stability. [1] A. Dommann, G. Kotrotsios, A. Neels, MEMS Reliability and Testing, MST News, (2007) [2] E. Mazza and J. Dual, Mechanical behavior of a µm-sized single crystal silicon structure with sharp notches. J. Mechanics and Physics of Solids 47 (1999) Figure 1: Silicon beam structure processed by DRIE High resolution x-ray diffractometry (HRXRD) measures the strain of a crystal. This is an accurate, non destructive method applied in the field of MEMS to obtain quantified results on the crystalline disorder. CSEM therefore applies an X-ray rocking curve method, which measures the strain of a crystal as well as the defect concentrations. Applying a mechanical force to a perfect silicon single crystal results in a deformation which is directly related to a change of the crystal strain profile. In addition, reciprocal space mapping (RSM) visualizes the strain generation related to the bending 11

13 ArrayFM An Atomic Force Microscope Using 2-Dimensional Probe Arrays A. Meister, J. Polesel-Maris, S. Dasen, G. Gruener, M. Schnieper, T. Overstolz, A. Vuillemin, C. Gimkiewicz, R. Ischer, P. Vettiger, H. Heinzelmann In this multidisciplinary integrated project, an atomic force microscope able to investigate large sample surfaces with nanometric resolution was developed. Instead of a single probe, this novel microscope uses a 2-dimensional array of probes operating in parallel. Applications of this microscope include the biology domain, quality control, as well as material and surface characterization. Since the emergence of the atomic force microscopy (AFM) in the eighties, the topographic investigation of a sample surface at a nanometric scale has become a standard technique. AFM techniques can also be used to measure various kinds of local interactions, such as magnetic, electrostatic, or binding forces, electrical conductivity, or to determine mechanical properties such as elasticity or friction. Standard AFMs use a single probe, and, due to the scanning process, are rather slow in terms of data acquisition. The aim of this project is to develop an AFM functioning with a large probe-array instead of a single probe, increasing thus the throughput of the instrument. The realized instrument is shown in Figure 1. The implementation of arrays instead of a single probe requires new functionalities compared to a standard AFM instrument, such as the parallel read-out of each probe, the spatial alignment of the probe-array above the sample surface, and a dedicated software to drive the instrument and for the user interface. The correct positioning of the probe-array above the surface is realized using a micropositioning stage with 6 axis of freedom (Hexapod) with micrometric accuracy. The sample is mounted on a piezoelectric nanopositioning stage, and is scanned with a nanometric precision while the array probes the sample surface. not today commercially available, and have therefore also been developed within this project. Since the cantilever deflection detection is not integrated in the probe array, this latter can be passive, and thus be produced in a cheap way. Two different processes leading to two different and complementary kinds of probes were developed. The first process relies on a sol-gel replication of the probe arrays in a polymeric structure, which are foreseen as disposable probe arrays to be used for parallel force spectroscopy in biology. The second process is based on micromachining of silicon wafer, and enables the production of cantilever with sharp tips dedicated to high resolution imaging. Examples of realized probe arrays are shown in Figure 2. Figure 2: Left: Optical micrograph of a probe array fabricated by solgel replication process (scale bar: 500 µm). Right: Scanning electron microscope micrograph of a silicon probe array fabricated by micromachining. The ability of this instrument to operate AFM cantilever arrays opens new application domains, such as multi-parameter surface investigation using a probe array with different cantilever functionalities, parallel force spectroscopy with improved statistics, or large scale topographic imaging. The application field covers: Figure 1: Developed AFM instrument that is able to operate with an array of probes in parallel In contrast to standard AFMs, where the read-out of the cantilever deflection is detected using a reflected laser beam, in this instrument the parallel read-out of the cantilever-array is based on optical interferometry using a Linnik interferometer. The interferogram, which arises from the combination of both reference and measuring optical beams, is detected by a CMOS camera and analyzed by the software. The characterization of the optical set-up showed an ability to measure cantilever deflections as small as 1 nanometer. The development and fabrication of the probe arrays made of micro-cantilevers is another important issue. Such arrays are Quality control: metrology, surface roughness, defect analysis. Biological and medical applications: parallel cell indentation (determination of the cell elasticity), parallel force spectroscopy to measure cell-cell interaction or antibody-antigen binding (to detect the presence of the target molecule on the receptor molecule in affinity assays). Large scale imaging: topographic characterization at a nanometric range, large scale surface studies such as friction or elasticity with piconewton resolution. The partial support of the Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science (OFES) in the framework of the EC-funded project NaPa (Contract no. NMP4-CT ) is gratefully acknowledged. 12

14 MicroStruc Integrated Optical Polymer Platform, Low Cost Assembly and Packaging A. Stump, P. Schüepp, T. Overstolz, C. Bosshard, U.Gubler An integrated optics platform based on polymers as a low-cost alternative to glass and semiconductor waveguides has been developed from the design to the complete assembly and packaging of the devices. Planar lightwave circuits (PLCs) are replacing optical modules with single elements assembled together more and more. The integration of optical functionalities in a planar design with batch processing can be seen analogous to the shift from single electronic components to integrated microelectronics. and the fiber boots molded from silicone fit exactly into these U-holes. At the end of the boots a small hole allows threading of the fibers (Figure 1). Due to this design the insertion of the assembled PLC into the preform is straightforward. The boots are put on the fibers and then pushed into the preform. Unlike in microelectronics no standard material exists like silicon. Although silica-on-silicon PLCs are well established they are still rather expensive as the processing and packaging is costly. Therefore, polymer PLCs potentially provide a promising alternative if low cost over the whole manufacturing process can be obtained. The polymer PLC technology platform developed in the past years at CSEM addresses these issues: The waveguide material can be produced inexpensively in volumes. The structuring of the PLC is based on direct UVpatterning, which saves cost compared to the traditional dry-etch process (as e.g. silica-on silicon technology) The assembly is carried out passively in a pick-and-place process without cost and work intensive active alignment The encapsulation of the assembly is done by a molding process similar to the electronics and IC industry. Figure 2: Sketch of the approach to package PLCs with electrodes. As the PLC is wider than the carrier, the electrodes on the PLC are still accessible. In the case of thermo-optic devices the electrodes on the PLC have to be contacted after the flip-chip step. In this approach the PLC is designed wider than the carrier underneath so that the electrodes are still accessible after the flip-chip step (Figure 2). The overall process is simple and low cost. Before molding the assembly into the package, electrical legs can be connected to the PLC (Figure 3). Figure 3: Model of a thermo-optic PLC with electronic contacts in the encapsulated module built up as described above. Figure 1: Sketch of encapsulation approach: the assembly is inserted in the pre-form and filled with a sealant polymer. To reduce stress on fibers boots are provided on both ends. The encapsulation of PLC assemblies is an important part of the process. Special preforms were designed and injection molded. The trough is a LCP (liquid crystal polymer), which acts as a barrier for gas or humidity to diffuse through the package wall. The feedthroughs for the fibers are U-shaped Although the main application area is the telecom market, a low-cost integrated optics platform with an adequate packaging technology is also interesting for other fields. Various special applications in the area of sensing are possible such as integrated spectrometers or interferometers, hybrids with micro-fluidics in life sciences, or layouts for gas sensing. This work has been supported by the Micro Center Central Switzerland MCCS. 13

15 Encoder Nanometric Optical Absolute Position Encoder P. Masa, E. Franzi, J. Pierer, P. Glocker, J.-M. Mayor, D. Fengels An optical absolute position encoder principle is presented which can combine many attractive features such as 24 bit resolution per 100 mm, compact design, optic-less shadow imaging, sampling rate exceeding 1MHz and robustness. The detectable displacement is several hundred times smaller than the wavelength of the light and only 10 times larger than the diameter of the silicon atom. Combining all the attractive features in a position encoder such as high-resolution, absolute, compact, high-speed is a real challenge today. Such an encoder clearly has a great potential in various fields like robotics, automation, machine tools, automotive, aerospace; just to mention a few. An optical absolute position encoder technology developed at CSEM has the potential to combine all these attractive features. Nanometric resolution has been established using ultra-compact USB camera, linear glass scale, LED illumination, without the need for optics, as shown in Figure 1. Note that the detectable displacement is several hundred times smaller than the wavelength of the light and only 10 times larger than the diameter of the silicon atom. Highspeed opto-asic implementation by CSEM proved that sampling frequency of such an encoder may exceed 1MHz [1]. Optic-less shadow-imaging permits compact design and major cost reduction. A flexible, customizable experimental/demonstrator platform is under development, which is based on the icycam chip [2]. The image captured by a 320 x 240 high dynamic range pixel array is processed in real-time on the same chip by the 32-bit icyflex processor. Prototyping of rotary, linear and even 2D position encoders can be supported by this platform. One of CSEM goals is to demonstrate the potential in robotics, to combine the technologies of the absolute encoder and the PreciAmp servo-drive to build the CSEM next generation direct-drive MicroDelta robot. Figure 2: Image of a double-track linear scale consisting of a 12 bit Manchester code and 100 µm regular grating. Image obtained by ultra-compact USB camera and shadow imaging. Figure 1: Shadow imaging experimental setup consisting of a compact USB camera, transparent scale and LED illumination (LED not shown here) Coarse absolute position measurement is obtained by decoding the subsection of the Manchester code (typically 8-16 bits), which is seen at a given position by the sensor. Fine relative position measurement is attained by Fourier analysis of the regular grating at the fundamental frequency. Robustness, precision and very high resolution is guaranteed by heavily oversampling the pattern (typically 8-16 pixels per pattern period) and relying on the phase information which is distributed in the entire image among hundreds or thousands of pixels. The fine measurement principle is shown in Figure 3. One possible interpretation of the method is that each pixel represents one point in the cloud of measurements and the center of gravity gives the final result. The combination of the coarse and the fine measurements yields very high-resolution absolute position, typically 24 bits for a Ø 32 mm rotary or 100 mm linear encoder. The maximum attainable resolution scales linearly with the diameter of the rotary or with the length of the linear encoder. Figure 3: Robust, high-precision position measurement principle [1] A. Mortara, et al., An Opto-Electronic, 18-bit/revolution Absolute Angle and Torque Sensor, ISSCC 2000 Digest [2] C. Arm, et al., icycam, a System-On Chip (SOC) for Vision Applications, in this report, page 30 14

16 RISE The Rich Sensing Concept A. Hutter, D. Beyeler, A. Brenzikofer, E. Grenet, F. Rampogna, L. von Allmen, C. Urban, P. Nussbaum Within the RISE project a camera-based wireless sensor network for people detection and tracking purposes has been implemented. This sensor network, which is based on three vision sensors and two 3D time-of-flight cameras, is an ideal test-bed for long-term operational tests and the development of advanced algorithms. Furthermore, the installation is well suited for life demonstration purposes. The multi-disciplinary project RISE targets the elaboration of a heterogeneous sensor network for the purpose of people detection and tracking within home and building areas. As a result of the first project phase, which ended in 2007, a demonstrator has been implemented in the CSEM entrance hall. The demonstrator is based on two different camera types: low power vision sensors [1] and 3D time-of-flight cameras [2]. Vision sensors exploit the contrast information of the observed scene and are distinguished by their huge dynamic range of 100 db as well as the low power consumption of 80 mw. 3D time-of-flight cameras, on the other hand, provide a three-dimensional representation of the observed scene. Within the RISE project the vision sensors are used to detect and track persons and objects whereas the 3D time-of-flight cameras are utilized in order to provide additional height information of the detected objects. Further essential components of the system are the wireless communication link together with the data fusion entity. In this article the basic concept together with the implemented interworking of the cameras and the wireless system is described. The data fusion algorithm and the related issues are subject to a separate article [3]. The demonstration test-bed covers an area of approximately 150 m 2. The vision sensors operate with a 2.6 mm fish-eye objective, which in turn provides a relatively large field of vision, e.g. the area that is observed by one particular camera. As such, the vision sensors have overlapping fields of vision and cover the entire entrance area ranging from the entrance over the two entrance side areas to the reception desk. The field of vision of the 3D time-of-flight cameras, which require active illumination, is limited to an area with a diameter of approximately 2 meters. One 3D camera is positioned close to the entrance whereas the second 3D camera is located right in front of the reception desk. The network coordinator, which acts as wireless data concentrator, is located in a closed box with wooden shielding right under the central monitor in the reception hall. An illustration of the disposition of the different vision sensors and the 3D cameras is presented in Figure 1. A new sensor platform that is capable of hosting both, the vision sensor as well as the 3D camera, and that provides the required processing and communication resources has been designed. The sensor platform includes a Blackfin 533 digital signal processor running at 500 MHz, 2 MB Flash and 32 MB SDRAM memory, an Ethernet connection for test and debugging purposes and a hardware socket that connects different wireless modules. For the purpose of the RISE project the use of the 2.4 GHz ZorgWave module [4] was selected, since the communication characteristics of the module together with the associated protocol stack respond ideally to the throughput and delay requirements of the system. The communication concept foresees that each sensor node communicates the position data of each detected object together with a time stamp and some additional object information in total around 100 Bytes to the network coordinator. Transmission at regular intervals (about every 100 ms) is mandatory in order to guarantee tracking consistency. In addition to this regular traffic, specific data requests (as for instance the transmission of the currently observed image) should be possible. This results in a required data rate of approximately 8 kbps for the regular traffic of each sensor node plus some additional bandwidth for the irregular data request traffic. In order to comply with these requirements the IEEE standard (which is identical to the basic protocol layers of the ZigBee system) was selected. The network operates in beacon-enabled mode with a beacon interval of 123 ms and the guaranteed time slot (GTS) option of the standard is used to transmit the regular traffic of up to seven sensor nodes. The GTS option allows contention-free channel access meaning that data packets are transmitted with guaranteed throughput and delay. It should be noted that the GTS feature, which is not a mandatory option in the standard, was implemented in the CSEM K15 stack. The GTS portion requires approximately 44% of the available transmission time between network beacons so that approximately 67 ms remain available to accommodate irregular data requests. This corresponds to a sustainable data rate of approximately 15 kbps in situations with multiple simultaneous data requests. The RISE project demonstrator is fully operational and can be visited at CSEM upon request. Figure 1: Disposition of the vision sensors and 3D cameras in the CSEM entrance hall [1] S. Gyger, et al., Low-power Vision Sensors, CSEM Scientific and Technical Report 2004, page 17 [2] T. Oggier, et al., Miniaturized 3D time-of-flight Camera with USB Interface, CSEM Scientific and Technical Report 2002, page 37 [3] E. Franzi, et al., Data Fusion for Wireless Distributed Tracking Systems, in this report, page 24 [4] CSEM Wireless Sensor Networks, 15

17 PackTime Zero-Level Packaging of Silicon Time-base D. Ruffieux, J. Baborowski, M. Fretz, S. Grossmann, C. Henzelin, I. Kjelberg, T.C. Le, J.-M. Mayor, A. Pezous, A.-C. Pliska, A. Schifferle, G. Spinola Durante, Y. Welte The development of a thermally compensated silicon time-base and the associated packaging to yield a miniature vacuum-sealed cavity around the resonator requires multidisciplinary competences in the fields of IC, MEMS design/fabrication, packaging, finite element modeling and metrology. The low power frequency and timing market relies almost exclusively on quartz resonators to derive precise and low aging references thanks to the availability of crystal cuts with null first order temperature coefficient on frequency (TCF). Silicon on the other hand appears quite attractive from a miniaturization perspective but suffers from a severe drawback with a TCF close to -30 ppm/ C whatever the crystal orientation. Consequently, electronic compensation that can possibly be combined with structural compensation [1, 2] appears as one of the most promising workarounds to reach performances similar or better than that of AT-cut quartz crystal achieving null first and second TCF. The development of such a high performance, miniature and low power real time silicon clock (RTC) together with the associated packaging technology entails multidisciplinary competences in IC and MEMS design/fabrication, packaging, FEM and metrology. The activities ongoing in each of these fields are described in the following sections after an overview of the system is presented. Figure 1 shows a cross-section of the envisioned miniature whole silicon time-base that consists of a rear side packaged silicon resonator integrated on a SOI substrate that is assembled and interconnected by a flip-chip and reflow process to an IC capping die generating the thermally compensated clock. The reflow process is performed under vacuum and should ensure hermeticity of the cavity that is formed around the resonator to take advantage of the high quality factor of the latter and minimize any aging of the time-base. Figure 1: Cross-section of the miniature zero-level packaged silicon timebase with a vacuum-sealed cavity around the resonator A FEM CAD model of the complete resonator including its package has been developed to help determine the sensitive parameters that affect the resonator frequency during and following the assembly process and could then be responsible for excessive aging. Thermo-mechanical simulations are also very valuable to predict the performance of the compensated time base that relies on a good matching of the resonator and sensor temperature and that may be affected during thermal transients. The lack of availability of precise data for the stiffness of the materials involved in the fabrication of the resonators and their temperature dependency has motivated the development of an optical metrology bank [3] and dedicated test structures that should help future resonator design and allow more precise FEM analysis once measurement and extraction is completed. The resonator exploits a high-q in-plane, longitudinal, extensional mode and is formed of a T-shaped silicon beam, typically 1000 x 250 µm 2, anchored at its base end, with an inertial mass at each extremity. Figure 2 shows some extensional resonators after processing. The driving voltage is applied on the piezoelectric layer only in the central part of the beam. The resonators are built from a (100) oriented Silicon on Insulator (SOI) substrate. Structure of the resonator consists mainly of single crystal silicon that is oxidized on both sides, and that is topped by AlN and its electrodes. Polycrystalline piezoelectric (002) AlN films are deposited by magnetron sputtering on Pt (111) electrode. A metal ring is patterned around the resonators for subsequent assembly with the capping wafer. Figure 2: Microphotograph of fabricated resonators Si resonators in extensional mode, oriented along <110> with a thickness of 105 microns, and activated by 2 micrometers of AlN, exhibit a Q factor under vacuum of and k 2 eff around 0.05%. Q factor at atmospheric pressure is up to 20000, and increases linearly when the pressure decreases. In order to obtain the maximum Q factor the pressure must be below 0.1 mbar. The measured impedance in air and under vacuum is plotted in Figure 3. The resonance frequency of these resonators is close to 960 khz, the motional resistance is in the range of 200 Ohm and the linear TCF is -28 ppm/ C. Figure 3: Impedance plot of high Q resonator in air and vacuum 16

18 In order to optimize the performances of the resonator and guarantee long-term frequency stability, one needs to perform hermetic packaging under reduced pressure. The rear side of the resonators is closed hermetically by low temperature fusion bonding (with Si wafer) or by anodic bonding (with Pyrex). Both methods require an extremely smooth surface of the wafer. The resonator chips are then vacuum encapsulated using silicon caps (ultimately working ICs) and AuSn (80% wt Au) soldering technology. Metallic alloy materials provide both low-permeability sealing characteristics as well as electrical conduction for the resonator driving interconnects. The AuSn electroplating process was carried out at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM FhG). Vacuum sealing of the resonator chips is done through a twostep process: Tacking of the sealing cap on the resonator chip at a temperature below the AuSn melting point using flip-chip Reflow under vacuum in a dedicated oven The tacking methodology proved to be successful. Taguchi runs using thermo-compression parameters (temperature, force, dwelling time) as variable experimental factors were carried out. Figure 4: Photograph showing a chip on board assembly of a miniature time-base [1] J. Baborowski, et al., Piezoelectrically Activated Silicon Resonators, IEEE Frequency Control Symposium, (June 2007) [2] B. Kim, et al., Si-SiO2 Composite MEMS Resonators in CMOS Compatible Wafer-Scale Thin-Film Encapsulation, IEEE Frequency Control Symposium, (June 2007) [3] J.M. Mayor, et al., Micro-Vibration Analysis Setup for MEMS and MOEMS Characterization, in this report, page 72 Reflow process development, where resulting vacuum level is monitored through Q factor measurements, is on-going. A differential oscillator structure has been chosen to minimize the circuit power dissipation despite the large shunt capacitance of the resonator (~10 pf). A programmable fractional divider is used to generate a thermally compensated Hz clock from the 960 khz oscillator signal that drifts by -28 ppm/ C. The output of a high resolution temperature sensor integrated on the same die is used by a sequencer to implement an open-loop compensation algorithm that requires initial calibration of the resonator absolute frequency and thermal drift. The state machine has been implemented on an external FPGA to yield greater flexibility. Communication with the IC to read the thermal sensor indication and update the fractional divider ratio is ensured via a serial bus interface. Figure 4 shows a photograph of a miniature packaged resonator that has been glued above the IC mounted over a printed circuit board. The close vicinity of the resonator and the thermal sensor located within the IC minimize any thermal gradient that would affect the compensation accuracy. Extensive testing of the IC with the miniature packaged resonators will be initiated once satisfactory vacuum levels are reached within the micro-cavity to assess the performance of the thermo-compensated time-base. 17

19 TissueOptics Portable SpO2 Monitor: a Fast Response Approach Tested in an Altitude Chamber C. Verjus, V. Neuman, J. Solà I Caros, O. Grossenbacher, S. Dasen, O. Chételat Altitude is hazardous for the human body, with the oxygen delivery to the cells being jeopardized. The prototype of an advanced oxygen saturation monitoring sensor, embedded in a commercial earphone, has been successfully tested in an altitude chamber. Oxygen is vital to maintain the basic metabolism of cells in the human body: in the absence of oxygen for a prolonged amount of time, cells would die. In critical situations like aviation, severe hypoxia periods reduce oxygen delivery, leading subjects to unconsciousness and compromising the security of the crew. Thus, continuous monitoring of oxygen delivery to cells is a relevant indicator of the health of a person. including a servo-controlled loop and an offset correction to improve the dynamic range of pulse oximetry sensors. For healthy people under normal oxygen delivery situations, about 98% of haemoglobin (Hb) in the blood combines with oxygen to form oxy-haemoglobin (HbO2). The so-called arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) is calculated as the ratio of HbO2 to total haemoglobin (Hb + HbO2). When this saturation parameter is assessed by means of optical non-invasive techniques it is commonly known as SpO2. Pulse oximetry is a widespread, non-invasive method used in clinical environments to determine arterial oxygen saturation. Two light beams of different wavelengths are injected into the skin surface and transmitted or backscattered parts of them are retrieved. The technique is then based on the photoplethysmographic effect (measurement of a change of volume by optical means) and on the local characteristics of the absorption curves of hemoglobin and oxy-hemoglobin at two different wavelengths. SpO2 sensor products are available today, but they are incompatible with comfortable and non-obtrusive long-term monitoring. CSEM has launched a strategic activity to develop oximeter probes for different body positions (finger ring, ear cartilage, sternum, etc.). Figure 2: Test subject in the cockpit mock-up and computer logging of the reference blood oxygen saturation value from the Biopac and the value measured with the CSEM sensor. The measurements were conducted during the cockpit ventilation assessment tests of SolarImpulse [1] in the altitude chamber of the Fliegerärztliches Institut der Luftwaffe FAI/AMC Schweiz in Dübendorf. Two tests were performed on this occasion with two different test subjects. The tests aimed at obtaining in the shortest time possible the cockpit air composition for oxygen and carbon dioxide, as it will change at high altitude. Each test lasted about 4 hours. The time for a climb to 3000 m was around minutes. The altitude chamber is internally ventilated, in order to provide normal atmosphere conditions in the environment of the cockpit mock up. Figure 1: Comparison between the blood oxygen saturation given by the reference sensor from Biopac and calculated by the CSEM sensor during the whole test. TissueOptics is a CSEM Multidisciplinary Integrated Project aiming at improving its expertise of non-invasive optical measurements in human tissue. One of the innovations already developed in this project is a dedicated electronic A Biopac Sensor, using a fingertip probe, connected to a laptop computer logging the measured values acts as a reference for the CSEM SpO2 sensor. The CSEM SpO2 sensor uses an earlobe probe integrated into an earphone. The results calculated in real time by the CSEM sensor are fully in agreement with the reference values from the Biopac. [1] 18

20 TUGON Compact MEMS-based Spectrometers for Infra-Red Spectroscopy M. Tormen, R. Lockhart, J-M, Mayor, R. P. Stanley Deformable MEMS diffraction gratings have great promise as tuning elements for external cavity lasers and for compact spectrometers. The challenge is to make high efficiency tunable MEMS gratings and incorporate them into practical devices. CSEM has successfully designed, fabricated and tested MEMS gratings. Their spectral response has been tested and the potential to design ultra-compact spectrometers based around this technology has been shown. In Optical MEMS, the family of diffractive MEMS is interesting for a wide range of applications because they can be compact, fast and their narrow spectra response can be used in spectrometers and for tunable lasers [1]. Commercially available diffractive MEMS are used in displays, in spectroscopy and optical telecommunications [2, 3]. KOH etching. This technique is widely used to make V-grooves. It yields smooth angled surfaces while maintaining the mechanical properties of the grating beams. Extending this technology to a MEMS device has been a challenge. The MEMS grating shown in Figure 1 is actually a blazed grating. Optical grating 5 mm Figure 2 : A minature monochromator in the lab. The light is coupled into and out of the grating (bottom centre) using a pair of fibres and collimating lenses. For scale the MEMS chip is 12 x 6 mm. Comb drives Figure 1: Overview of a tunable MEMS grating. The white dotted region denotes the optical grating which is actuated by four sets of electrostatic comb drives. CSEM has been developing a tunable MEMS grating technology, and this report demonstrates how it could be incorporated into a compact spectrometer. In the spectrometer, the MEMS grating is stretched like an accordion. The change in the size of the grating changes directly the period of the grating and hence the wavelength tuning of the grating. This method of tuning is completely different from normal spectrometers where the grating is rotated. The advantage of MEMS grating is that the complex mechanics for controlling the rotation of the grating in the standard configuration is replaced by simple electrostatic comb drives which stretch the MEMS grating. Figure 1 shows a processed MEMS device [4] which comprises the tunable optical grating and the electrostatic comb drives which stretch the grating. The device has been fabricated using standard MEMS manufacturing techniques. The complete die measures 6 x 3 mm, with a 1 mm x 1 mm grating. The grating itself is formed from free-standing beams with a 12 µm period and a 50% duty-cycle. The beams are attached to each other using leaf springs. So that it can be stretched in its plane, the grating is free standing. One of the challenges is to make a MEMS grating that has a high diffraction efficiency. A grating with a square profile is the easiest structure to manufacture but has only about 40% diffraction efficiency in the first order. In contrast, blazed gratings can have efficiencies close to unity. In order to achieve this, the gratings have been blazed using anisotropic The spectral response of the MEMS grating was measured using an optical spectrum analyser and a collimated white light source in a configuration shown in Figure 2. The optical system is extremely compact. The resulting spectra are shown for different drive voltages in Figure 3. A tuning range of 3% and subnanometer linewidths have been achieved. Potentially 10% is achievable with the improved mechanical design. The spectral response can be better appreciated in Figure 4 taken for a 1.5 mm long fixed grating made with the same MEMS process technology. A 25 db rejection has been achieved experimentally. Efficiency (Normalized) Wavelength (nm) Figure 3: The spectral response of the MEMS grating shown in Figure 1 for several different drive voltages ranging from 0 to 55 volts. A unique property of these MEMS gratings is that the efficiency of the gratings is high at all wavelengths. Although, the efficiency is strongly angular dependence, as the angle is never varied, in contrast to standard scanning monochromator, it remains constant. This means that the same device can be used for a wide range of spectral regions from the UV to the mid-ir. This versatility is very promising for 0V 5V 10V 15V 20V 25V 30V 35V 40V 45V 50V 55V 19

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