Electrical & Computer Engineering     |     Carnegie Mellon

Tuesday, December 11, 12:15-1:15 p.m. HH-1112


Peter J. Gilgunn
Carnegie Mellon University

Electrothermal Optical MEMS

MEMS are particularly well suited to the actuation of light beams and wavefronts. Optical MEMS, or MOEMS, were amongst the first recognized devices in the field dating back to the late 1960's. Since the early '90's optical MEMS have been an active research area in display technologies, wavefront correction, free space optical communication, medical imaging and ranging applications. More recently a great deal of interest has developed in the use of optical MEMS devices for maskless photolithography in the fabrication of integrated circuits.

In this talk, I will review optical MEMS device types and the applications for which they are used and I will try to illustrate the relative benefits of the two main classes of these devices based on actuation method - electrostatic and electrothermal. The actuation principles will be discussed to highlight the limitations they place on device operation. I will describe in detail the work being done at CMU on arrays of electrothermally actuated, high fill-factor, optical CMOS-MEMS devices. This work has focused primarily on the characterization of electrothermal actuation, optimization of angular range and power consumption, and fabrication methods.


Peter J. Gilgunn received the BSc (with Honours) in physics from Paisley College of Technology, Paisley, Scotland in 1989 and the MS in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006. He is currently working towards the PhD in electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Gary Fedder's MEMS Lab.

He worked for 11 years in the semiconductor industry as a process engineer and an engineering manager in the UK, Germany and the USA before entering an R&D role in a MEMS-based imaging company in Pittsburgh, PA. He also taught physics in Ghana for a 2.5 year period in the early '90s. His current research interests include design, fabrication, behavioral modeling and simulation of MEMS actuators integrated with CMOS electronics. He has presented on advanced equipment and process control, and yield management at a semiconductor industry symposium and holds a patent for in-situ defect detection during integrated circuit fabrication.