Synchronized mirror arrays have fast response

Researchers at Tamkang University (Tamsui, Taiwan) and National Taiwan University (Taipei, Taiwan) are developing a new form of micromirror array that could allow machines such as laser printers to work faster and consume less power.

Feb 1st, 2002

Researchers at Tamkang University (Tamsui, Taiwan) and National Taiwan University (Taipei, Taiwan) are developing a new form of micromirror array that could allow machines such as laser printers to work faster and consume less power. By breaking each mirror pixel into an array of smaller ones, less energy needs to be expended for the same mirror area. Crucially, the new device includes a mechanism that keeps the mirrors in these subpixels phase locked, thus improving the optical efficiency of the device. Though they are only at the early prototype stage, the researchers have shown that the principle of their new synchronization technique works, and that they are able to fabricate the necessary structures.

Ultrasonic diamond grinding, a process invented more than 30 years ago by the British Atomic Energy Commission, is becoming ever more useful to the optics field. In the years since its advent, the machining technique migrated to the U.S.; it is currently being marketed by Sonic Mill (Albuquerque, NM) in the form of an ultrasonic milling machine. The latest and fastest-growing use for ultrasonic diamond grinding is in the preparation of glass preforms for drawing of optical fibers, says Clyde Treadwell, president of Sonic Mill.

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