Integrated self-assembling and holding technique applied to a 3-D MEMS variable optical attenuator

L. Li, Justyna Zawadzka, D.G. Uttamchandani

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The application of polysilicon/gold bimorph stress-induced curved beams for three-dimensional self-assembly of MEMS devices is reported. The mechanical principle behind this self-assembling procedure is presented and comparison with current assembling methods are made. With this self-assembling technique, no postprocessing is required. A free-space optical MEMS device in the form of a variable optical attenuator (VOA) has been fabricated and self-assembled using this technique. The angular elevation of the self-assembled structures and the attenuation characteristics of the optical MEMS device are reported. The VOA has a measured dynamic attenuation range of 44 dB at 1.55 /spl mu/m optical wavelength. The bending of the bimorph beams is also temperature controllable, and the thermal behavior of the beams is also reported.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004



  • micro-optics
  • optical attenuators
  • optical fabrication
  • thermal expansion

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