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Design and Fabrication of High-Performance Silicon Micromachined Resonant Microscanners for Optical Scanning Applications

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Resonant and galvanometric optical scanners have long been used for various scientific and industrial applications. The typical attributes of these scanners are fast scan speeds, large scan angles, and low mass. In this paper, we present the design and fabrication of a silicon-surface-micromachined resonant microscanner that has a large scan angle, a fast scan rate, extremely small mass, and a low operating power. The integration of the scanner optics and the driving motor(s) and potentially the electronics is carried out as part of the fabrication process, which avoids major technical challenges such as the assembly of mirrors and motors in the bulk optical scanner system. The compact microscanner also makes packaging a much easier task. With the scanner module integrated on a silicon chip, the microscanner can be packaged in a vacuum which alleviates the adverse effects from the environment. Vacuum packaging is, however, very difficult and costly to do in a bulk-scanner system. We will discussed single-mirror scanners that are capable of high-speed scanning with a large scan angle. These single-mirror scanners can be combined to form more complicated microscanners like the system shown in Fig. 1, which is an SEM micrograph of one of the microscanner systems that we have fabricated. The two-mirror, two-axis raster scanner finds a wide range of applications in areas such as communications, medicine, and entertainment, among others.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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