The invention is an integrated optical sensing element for detecting and measuring changes in position or deflection. A deflectable member, such as a microcantilever, is configured to receive a light beam. A waveguide, such as an optical waveguide or an optical fiber, is positioned to redirect light towards the deflectable member. The waveguide can be incorporated into the deflectable member or disposed adjacent to the deflectable member. Means for measuring the extent of position change or deflection of the deflectable member by receiving the light beam from the deflectable member, such as a photodetector or interferometer, receives the reflected light beam from the deflectable member. Changes in the light beam are correlated to the changes in position or deflection of the deflectable member. A plurality of deflectable members can be arranged in a matrix or an array to provide one or two-dimensional imaging or sensing capabilities.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp., and the Government has certain rights in this invention.