Micromirror enhanced micro-imaging
Start date: Jan 1, 2008,
End date: Jun 30, 2011
An essential part of high-end optical microscopes is the ability to control various apertures and stops in both the illumination and imaging paths of these microscopes, in order to maximize the visualization of the objects under observation. Traditionally, these controls are implemented by mechanical apertures, irises and pinholes in such applications as coherence control, darkfield microscopy and confocal microscopy.Modern applications of optical microscopy in such diverse areas as semiconductor metrology and imaging of living organisms will require more flexible and dynamic controls for these apertures:\tSemiconductor metrology requires structured illumination and spatial frequency filtering for enhancing the visual qualities of metrology targets.\tLive cell fluorescence microscopy is looking for a better definition of the illumination conditions to reduce photobleaching and light induced toxicity, in order to lengthen observation times.MEMS-based Micromirror Arrays (MMA) are today widely used in large-scale display devices. Their configurability and dynamic control characteristics are also eminently suitable for visualization enhancement and new applications in optical microscopy.We are proposing a development project for adapting and integrating the MMA-technology into modern optical microscopes. The project will start at the device level, customizing the MMAs for visualization enhancement of optical microscopes, and then dealing with the issues of optical and opto-mechanical compatibility between the MMAs and microscopes, enhancement of current capabilities, and definition of new applications. Our team consists of an institute developing high-end MMAs, an optical system design and integration company, and end-users from the areas of semiconductor metrology and life-sciences.
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