Applied Physics

The Lightest of Touches

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Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1301-1303
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5597.1301e

Microelectrical-mechanical systems (MEMs) are now seeing a broad range of applications from the likes of optical networking to force-sensing devices and resonators. However, many of the devices fabricated to date are activated electrically and therefore require external connection to the device. In remote sensing applications—for example in hostile environments—there is a desire to actuate the structures without the need to make direct contact. Using a MEMs mirror array as an example, with the micromirror located in the center of a gimbal, Graebner et al. demonstrate the ability to actuate the mirror using the radiation pressure of a 3-mW beam of light. In addition, the broad frequency range available to an optically actuated device may make the technique useful as a chemical sensor. — ISO.

App. Phys. Lett.81, 3531 (2002).

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