Vertical combdrive based 2-D gimbaled micromirrors with large static rotation by backside island isolation

Sunghoon Kwon, Veljko Milanović, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We introduce a backside island isolation method for silicon-on-insulator (SOI)-based microelectromechanical systems technology and demonstrate vertical comb drive-based two-dimensional gimbaled micromirrors with large static rotation using the isolation method. The proposed isolation method provides electrical isolation and mechanical coupling of SOI structures without additional dielectric backfill and planarization by utilizing timed etched backside handle wafer structures. The backside island is a hidden layer beneath the gimbal and allows independent application of actuation potentials to the gimbal and inner mirror. We developed the fabrication process that accommodates the backside island isolation structures into an established vertical comb drive process, thereby allowing implementation of two-axis gimbaled structures. The maximum static optical deflections of the gimbal and mirror are 46° and 15°, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-504
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received November 4, 2003; revised February 4, 2004. This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BioFLIPS program. S. Kwon and L. P. Lee are with the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA (e-mail: V. Milanović is with the Adriatic Research Institute, Berkeley, CA 94704-1029 USA. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JSTQE.2004.828493


  • Backside island isolation
  • Deep reactive ion etching (DRIE)
  • Micromirror
  • Raster scanning
  • Silicon-on-insulator (SOI)
  • Two-axis scanner
  • Two-dimensional (2-D) scanner
  • Vertical combdrive


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