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Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) optical scanners have been around for more than two decades. Various applications have been presented, but few of them have advanced to the commercial level to date due to the difficulties of combination of optics and MEMS devices. This paper presents our activities of investigating MEMS scanner applications related to microscopic imaging. First, we started with developing a millimeter-sized one-dimensional scanner for commercially available laser scanning microscope. This microscope with the MEMS scanner is now commercially available. In order to take advantage of the miniaturization capability of MEMS, the next step was to miniaturize the whole optics together with the scanners. Miniaturized confocal microscope with a two-dimensional (2-D) scanner has been developed, and its feasibility and key issues are clarified. Additionally, an alternative 2-D scanner capable of scanning wide angle has been prototyped and fundamental characterization showed a promising result. Throughout the study, feasibility of MEMS optical scanners for microscopes has been demonstrated.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:10 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2004