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Nanomechanical near-field grating apparatus and acceleration sensor formed therefrom

United States Patent

March 4, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A nanomechanical near-field grating device is disclosed which includes two sub-gratings vertically spaced by a distance less than or equal to an operating wavelength. Each sub-grating includes a plurality of line-elements spaced apart by a distance less than or equal to the operating wavelength. A light source (e.g., a VCSEL or LED) can provide light at the operating wavelength for operation of the device. The device can operate as an active grating, with the intensity of a reflected or transmitted portion of the light varying as the relative positions of the sub-gratings are controlled by an actuator. The device can also operate as a passive grating, with the relative positions of the sub-gratings changing in response to an environmentally-induced force due to acceleration, impact, shock, vibration, gravity, etc. Since the device can be adapted to sense an acceleration that is directed laterally or vertically, a plurality of devices can be located on a common substrate to form a multi-axis acceleration sensor.
Carr; Dustin Wade (Albuquerque, NM), Bogart; Gregory Robert (Corrales, NM), Keeler; Bianca E. N. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 088,313
March 23, 2005
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.