Monday, March 03, 2008

US Patent 7336412 - Micromirror adaptive optics using piezoelectric actuation

Micromirrors have found numerous applications in displays, fiber optic switching, and 3D imaging. Typically the micromirrors are electrostatically actuated but this patent proposes a piezoelectric actuator for driving the micromirror in adaptive optics applications to generate a higher actuation stroke with smaller voltage. Claim 1 reads:

1. A microcontrollable, deformable mirror comprising: a mirror membrane to which a two dimensional pixel map is assigned; and a plurality of controllable piezoelectric microactuators forming two dimensional pixel map, each of the microactuators being coupled to the mirror membrane and separately controllable to selectively deform at least a portion of the mirror membrane corresponding to a pixel in the two dimensional pixel map.