Large micromirror array for generating programmable slit masks for Multi-Object Spectroscopy
Multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) is a powerful tool for space and ground-based telescopes for the study of the formation and evolution of galaxies. This technique requires a programmable slit mask for astronomical object selection. We are engaged in a European development of micromirror arrays (MMA) for generating reflective slit masks in future MOS, called MIRA. The 100 x 200 mu m(2) micromirrors are electrostatically tilted providing a precise angle. The main requirements are cryogenic environment capabilities, precise and uniform tilt angle over the whole device, uniformity of the mirror voltage-tilt hysteresis and a low mirror deformation. A first M MA with single-crystal silicon micromirrors was successfully designed, fabricated and tested. A new generation of micromirror arrays composed of 2048 micromirrors (32 x 64) and modelled for individual addressing were fabricated using fusion and eutectic wafer-level bonding. These micromirrors without coating show a peak-to-valley deformation less than 10 nm, a tilt angle of 24 degrees for an actuation voltage of 130 V Individual addressing capability of each mirror has been demonstrated using a line-column algorithm based on an optimized voltage-tilt hysteresis. Devices are currently packaged, wire-bonded and integrated to a dedicated electronics to demonstrate the individual actuation of all micromirrors on an array. An operational test of this large array with gold coated mirrors has been done at cryogenic temperature (162 K): the micromirrors were actuated successfully before, during and after the cryogenic experiment. The micromirror surface deformation was measured at cryo and is below 30 nm peak-to-valley.