Precision Optics Research

A MEMS mirro device

Professor Bifano

The Precision Optics Research Laboratory at Boston University is home to an active program in Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) research.

In MEMS, the tools that emerged from the semiconductor manufacturing revolution are employed to design and build electronic, mechanical, and optical devices whose dimensions are measured in nanometers and micrometers. Like their microelectronic counterparts, MEMS devices can be made extremely small and in great numbers economically.

The research program at the Precision Optics Research Laboratory focuses on Optical MEMS systems—electromechanical devices to improve the performance of imaging and communication systems. One of the more successful outcomes of this research has been the design, fabrication, and testing of a new class of micromirror array that can be used to improve the resolution of microscopes, telescopes, and biomedical instruments.

Two specific types of these devices, developed at the University—MEMS deformable mirrors and MEMS spatial light modulators—have been incorporated into test-beds worldwide to exploit this new technology. Our work on optical MEMS includes design, manufacturing, and testing of these devices. The Precision Optics Research Laboratory is housed in the Photonics Center, where world-class facilities for modeling, producing, and measuring optical MEMS devices are available.