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Electrically-programmable diffraction grating

United States Patent

5,757,536
May 26, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An electrically-programmable diffraction grating. The programmable grating includes a substrate having a plurality of electrodes formed thereon and a moveable grating element above each of the electrodes. The grating elements are electrostatically programmable to form a diffraction grating for diffracting an incident beam of light as it is reflected from the upper surfaces of the grating elements. The programmable diffraction grating, formed by a micromachining process, has applications for optical information processing (e.g. optical correlators and computers), for multiplexing and demultiplexing a plurality of light beams of different wavelengths (e.g. for optical fiber communications), and for forming spectrometers (e.g. correlation and scanning spectrometers).
Ricco; Antonio J. (Albuquerque, NM), Butler; Michael A. (Albuquerque, NM), Sinclair; Michael B. (Albuquerque, NM), Senturia; Stephen D. (Brookline, MA)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 521,559
August 30, 1995
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.