Micromechanical torsional digital-to-analog converter for open-loop angular positioning applications
This paper reports a novel micromechanical torsional digital-to-analog converter (MTDAC), operated in open-loop with digitally controlled precise multi-level tilt angles. The MTDAC mechanism presented is analogous to that of an electrical binary-weighted-input digital-to-analog converter (DAC). It consists of a rigid tunable platform, an array of torsional microactuators, each operating in a two-state (on/off) mode, and a set of connection beams with binary-weighted torsional stiffnesses that connect the actuators to the platform. The feasibility of the proposed MTDAC mechanism was verified numerically by finite element simulations and experimentally with a commercial optical phase-shifting interferometric system. A prototype 2-bit MTDAC was implemented using the poly-MUMPS process achieving a full-scale output tilt angle of 1.92° with a rotation step of 0.64°. This mechanism can be configured for many promising applications, particularly in beam steering-based OXC switches.