Electrodisplacive actuator for use in an actuated mirror array
Methods and apparatus for a multi-electrode micromechanical optical modulator
Micromechanical modulator Patent #: 5654819
ApplicationNo. 771566 filed on 12/20/1996
US Classes:359/290, By changing physical characteristics (e.g., shape, size or contours) of an optical element359/291, Shape or contour of light control surface altered359/295, Having multiple electrodes359/308Filter
ExaminersPrimary: Font, Frank G.
Assistant: Ratliff, Reginald A.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassG02B 026/00
Foreign Application Priority Data1995-12-29 JP
AbstractA light modulator having the small volume and low power consumption of LCD displays together with the higher resolution and faster response time of CRT displays. The light modulator includes a substrate pair, an opaque light shielding layer, a shutter assembly composed of a shutter plate and a shutter suspension, and electrodes. The substrate pair includes a first substrate and a second substrate positioned parallel to each other and spaced from one another to define a cavity. The opaque light shielding layer is located on one of the substrates, and defines a translucent window. The shutter assembly is located in the cavity. The shutter plate is movably mounted adjacent the window by the shutter suspension. The shutter suspension includes elastic support members disposed between the shutter plate and the substrate pair. The shutter suspension has a mechanically-stable position and deforms elastically from the mechanically-stable position in response to a change in overlap between the shutter plate and the mirror. The overlap between the shutter plate and the window controls the amount of light passing through the window. Finally, the electrodes are located on at least two of (a) the shutter assembly, (b) an inside surface of the first substrate, and (c) an inside surface of the second substrate, and are located to change the overlap between the shutter plate and the window by electrostatic force.