AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 86. NGST
Display, Friday, January 14, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[86.07] Transmissive Microshutter Arrays

A.S. Kutyrev (Raytheon ITSS), H.S. Moseley (NASA/GSFC), R.K. Fettig, J.L. Kuhn, B.E. Woodgate, R.A. Kimble (NASA/GSFC), J.H. Orloff (U. Maryland)

We report further progress on the development of a two-dimensional array of microshutters, which can be used as a high efficiency, high contrast field selection device for a multi-object spectrometer for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST).

The device is a close packed array of shutters, with a typical size of 100 microns square and an area filling factor of up to 80%. Each shutter, made of single crystal silicon or silicon nitride with an appropriate optical coating, pivots on a torsion flexure along one edge. Each of the shutters is individually selectable. Although these devices can be used as reflection devices, their primary mode of operation is in transmission, which provides the minimum possible level of scattered light.

An original double-shutter mechanism is employed for actuation. Small shutter arrays have been built using a Focus Ion Beam milling machine is a 3 x 3 double shutter actuation with a micro-manipulator under electron microscope observation has been demonstrated.

An important aspect of this study has been to demonstrate the reliability of the structures over its expected lifetime. We analyzed stiffness, strength and fatigue issues of two good candidate materials, single crystal silicon and silicon nitride. Both appear to be suitable from the mechanical point of view.

This project is supported by NASA grants.

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