Recent advances in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) have made it possible to produce entire micro-optical systems in a single chip. Moveable optomechanical structures and micro-optical elements are monolithically integrated on the same substrate. This opens up many new possibilities for miniaturizing optical systems as well as creating new functional devices that can not be achieved with conventional technologies. In this paper, we will review the state of the art of the optical applications of the MEMS technology, and also present some results of the research work in our laboratory on micro-optical benches, micro-XYZ stages, fiber optic switches, and single-chip micro-optical systems.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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