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Development, characterization and application of compact spectrometers based on MEMS with in-plane capacitive drives

: Kenda, A.; Kraft, M.; Tortschanoff, A.; Scherf, W.; Sandner, T.; Schenk, H.; Lüttjohann, S.; Simon, A.


Druy, M.A. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Next-generation spectroscopic technologies VII : 5 - 6 May 2014, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (Proceedings of SPIE 9101)
ISBN: 978-1-62841-038-9
Paper 910102, 10 S.
Conference "Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies" <7, 2014, Baltimore/Md.>
Fraunhofer IPMS ()

With a trend towards the use of spectroscopic systems in various fields of science and industry, there is an increasing demand for compact spectrometers. For UV/VIS to the shortwave near-infrared spectral range, compact hand-held polychromator type devices are widely used and have replaced larger conventional instruments in many applications. Still, for longer wavelengths this type of compact spectrometers is lacking suitable and affordable detector arrays. In perennial development Carinthian Tech Research AG together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems endeavor to close this gap by developing spectrometer systems based on photonic MEMS. Here, we review on two different spectrometer developments, a scanning grating spectrometer working in the NIR and a FT-spectrometer accessing the mid-IR range up to 14 Im. Both systems are using photonic MEMS devices actuated by in-plane comb drive structures. This principle allows for high mechanical amplitudes at low driving voltages but results in gratings respectively mirrors oscillating harmonically. Both systems feature special MEMS structures as well as aspects in terms of system integration which shall tease out the best possible overall performance on the basis of this technology. However, the advantages of MEMS as enabling technology for high scanning speed, miniaturization, energy efficiency, etc. are pointed out. Whereas the scanning grating spectrometer has already evolved to a product for the point of sale analysis of traditional Chinese medicine products, the purpose of the FT-spectrometer as presented is to demonstrate what is achievable in terms of performance. Current developments topics address MEMS packaging issues towards long term stability, further miniaturization and usability.