Applications and requirements for MEMS scanner mirrors
Micro scanning mirrors are quite versatile MEMS devices for the deflection of a laser beam or a shaped beam from another light source. The most exciting application is certainly in laser-scanned displays. Laser television, home cinema and data projectors will display the most brilliant colors exceeding even plasma, OLED and CRT. Devices for front and rear projection will have advantages in size, weight and price. These advantages will be even more important in neareye virtual displays like head-mounted displays or viewfinders in digital cameras and potentially in UMTS handsets. Optical pattern generation by scanning a modulated beam over an area can be used also in a number of other applications: laser printers, direct writing of photo resist for printed circuit boards or laser marking and with higher laser power laser ablation or material processing. Scanning a continuous laser beam over a printed pattern and analyzing the scattered reflection is the principle of barcode reading in 1D and 2D. This principle works also for identification of signatures, coins, bank notes, vehicles and other objects. With a focused white-light or RGB beam even full color imaging with high resolution is possible from an amazingly small device. The form factor is also very interesting for the application in endoscopes. Further applications are light curtains for intrusion control and the generation of arbitrary line patterns for triangulation. Scanning a measurement beam extends point measurements to 1D or 2D scans. Automotive LIDAR (laser RADAR) or scanning confocal microscopy are just two examples. Last but not least there is the field of beam steering. E.g. for alloptical fiber switches or positioning of read-/write heads in optical storage devices. The variety of possible applications also brings a variety of specifications. This publication discusses various applications and their requirements.