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Development of a 3D Scanning MEMS OCT Probe Using a Novel SiOB Package Assembly,” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. Published in Published in 18 (2008)125005 on 30 Oct 08.. Copyright 2009 IOP Publishing.
This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The definitive publisher authenticated version is available online at doi: 10.1088/0960-1317/18/12/125005
and water proof polycarbonate tube for in vivo diagnostic applications. N Chen . This started innovations in miniaturizing OCT optics in the form of cylindrical probes.edu.2 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 2 Y Xu . Subsequently. 3 2 Singapore 119077 National Cancer Centre. KW S Chen . electrostatic [16-19]. which uses low coherence reflectometry to detect intensity of back reflection of scattering from a sample has emerged as a unique bioimaging technique for biomedical diagnostics . Two-axis scanning MEMS micromirror operates with electrothermal actuation featuring low driving voltage and a maximum mechanical deflection of 17°.Design and development of a 3D scanning MEMS OCT probe using a novel SiOB package assembly 1. 15]. MEMS started playing a key role in the developments of OCT probes. Introduction Over the years. The general design of side-view scanning probes consists of a dynamic reflection and scanning mechanism (such as a mirror or a micro prism) mounted at the tip of the probe to manipulate the focused beam from SMF for OCT imaging.a-star. J Singh . such as a motor for circumferential scanning [11. C S Premachandran . transparent. 1. The optical probe was enclosed within a biocompatible. External drive mechanisms. It has evolved from time domain systems [2.C J R Sheppard and M Olivo Institute of Microelectronics. Endoscopic application of OCT and the concept of “optical biopsy” were first introduced about ten years ago  to avoid invasive biopsy and patient trauma. Singapore 117685 Division of Bioengineering. Early endeavors on miniature OCT probe implementations were focused on manipulating single mode fibers (SMF) for linear scanning in a forward-view imaging mode [9. A Khairyanto . 11 Science Park Road. magnetic  and pneumatic  actuation mechanisms had been demonstrated in endoscopic OCT application. The swept source systems are capable of providing three dimensional (3D) volumetric images in real time due to fast data acquisition rate up to several hundred thousand A-lines per second. 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road. to Fourier domain systems [4-6] and currently to dominating swept-source based systems . g0500123@nus. En face and three dimensional OCT images have been performed and presented in this article.sg. 12] and a linear translation stage for transverse scanning . National University of Singapore.sg Abstract: Miniature two-axis scanning microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) micromirror integrated optical probe for three dimensional endoscopic optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed using a novel silicon optical bench (SiOB) packaging technique. Technology and Research). optical coherence tomography (OCT). A variety of MEMS devices based on electrothermal [14. Singapore 169610 E-mail: janak@ime. 1 . 10] and side-view imaging mode. 11 Hospital Drive. 3].edu. were used to drive a SMF but scanning speed was limited to a few Hz due to friction during movement and rigidity of the fiber. A*STAR (Agency for Science. which were integrated with post-objective distal scanning MEMS devices enabling high speed three dimensional imaging.
which is developed using a novel single substrate silicon on insulator (SOI) fabrication process. The diameter of the miniature probe is about 4 mm and the length is about 25 mm. The bench top optical microscope configuration utilizes two galvo mirrors for X and Y axis scanning (Fig.Figure 1: (A) Conventional bench top OCT configuration. The probe also consists of a gradient refractive index (GRIN) lens apart from SiOB components. This article presents a study of the development of a MEMS OCT probe assembled using silicon optical bench (SiOB) technology. Two-axis MEMS micromirror design. Miniaturization of the optics and scanners in the sample arm of the OCT system is a challenge for endoscopic applications as there is a trade-off between size of the probe and the quality of the OCT images. 1A). fabrication and characterization 2 . (B) Conceptual depiction of miniature OCT optics. Main characteristics of the mirror are low driving voltage. This article provides detailed characterization of the probe with En face and three dimensional OCT images demonstrating proof of concept. As there is no limitation of the space. The probe is integrated with a two-axis scanning MEMS micromirror. quality of the image can be improved by having larger scanning mirrors and larger diameter high intensity light beams. 2. 1B) the diameter size of the probe restricts the overall dimensions of the micromirror / micro-prism and hence in a way constrains the overall efficiency of managing the light beam incident on the sample and scattered light from the sample. large mechanical deflection and high fill-in factor. In the case of miniature optics (Fig. Figure 1 illustrates the differences between the conventional bench top OCT optics with the miniature probe OCT optics.
(B) Electrothermal actuator and spring. 2A.Figure 2: (A) Two-axis micromirror 3D model. (C-D) Optical microscopic images of realized micromirrors and (E) A SEM micrograph of Al-Si electrothermal actuator. 24]. The process scheme was refined to develop a new micromirror with reduced chip size for MEMS OCT endoscope probe imaging application [23. 23 was based on the deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) compatible fabrication. 2E. Composite beams of silicon and aluminum form bimorph electrothermal actuators. 2B.5 mm had a 500 µm diameter mirror plate. which is based on electrothermal actuation mechanism and two-axis gimbal-less architecture. 2C and 2D. as shown in Fig. 3 . Optical microscopic images of the micromirror chips are shown in Fig. as low voltage would be safer in comparison to high applied voltage needed for electrostatic actuation mechanisms [25 -27]. A close-up view of the bimorph actuator is shown in Fig. A three-dimensional model of the mirror is shown in Fig. The single wafer SOI substrate process which has been illustrated in Ref. The actuation is based on the bimetallic effect due to the difference in the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE).5 mm x 1. The device with a chip size of 1. An Al layer was also used as the heater material with the thermal resistance of about 50 Ohms.5 mm and the mirror plate diameter of 400 µm. Its maximum mechanical deflection was 10° with less than 2 volts driving voltage . four flexural springs and four electrothermal bimorph actuators. which is advantageous in in-vivo biomedical applications.5 mm x 2. Electrothermal actuators require very low operation voltage. The two-axis micromirror was initially developed for switching in optical communication application with the chip size of 2. It consists of a high reflective gold-chromium mirror plate.
In order to measure the frequency response. Veeco Instruments Inc. Repeatability and reliability tests which were performed on the first 2. Further investigations showed that it was a mechanical failure due to excess flexural bending of the springs. This operation frequency is well above the required frequency of about 20Hz for our optical probe. Characterization of the two-axis micromirror was carried out. 3A). A precision semiconductor parameter analyzer (4156C. Figure 4: Frequency response of the micromirror with unipolar 1. 3B.2 volts peak-to-peak sinusoidal signal for full range swing. United States) was used for this test.5 volts. The maximum current before the actuator breakdown was 24 mA (Fig. The maximum measured mechanical deflection of 17° was obtained at an operation voltage of ~1. An IR camera with 20 µm resolution was used for measuring temperature as a function of voltage applied on single bimorph actuator and the data is plotted in Fig. An optical surface profiler (Wyko DMEMS NT 3300. showed no hysteresis. 3B. Maximum possible temperature was 90 °C. Mechanical deflection as a function of temperature on one actuator is also shown in Fig.6 msec.5 mm chip . 4 .Figure 3: Characterization of the Al-Si bimorph actuator: (A) current versus voltage and (B) mechanical deflection/temperature versus voltage. a unipolar 1..3 volts.5 mm x 2. Agilent Technologies. United States) was used for the measurements. Single crystal silicon is well known for no hysteresis characteristics. The corresponding thermal response time is 7.2 volts peak-to-peak sinusoidal signal was applied to one bimorph actuator of the micromirror. The cut off -3dB frequency was obtained to be 46 Hz as the voltage frequency was increased from 1 to 500 Hz. The radius of curvature of the mirror plate was measured to be about 30 mm. We also observed that the mirror device was damaged as the voltage was increased to more than 1.
5 were obtained by switching two adjacent thermal actuators in one quarter of the operable space. We investigated the issue and found that the cause for this curvature was use of different kinds of Cr-Au thin films on the front (sputtered) and backside (e-beam evaporated) and Cr was contributing to most of the curvature. The repetition rate for the loops was 10 Hz. 3. Laser patterns shown in Fig. Probe design and SiOB assembly 5 . which was crucial to consider the micromirror device for OCT optical probe. Micromirror curvature had improved to few meters once Cr was stripped off. which caused a reduction in working distance from mirror surface to the sample. which would be much smaller relatively. Silicon is one of the best known materials for not exhibiting hysteresis. however.Figure 5: (A)-(D) Lissajous figures scanned by the micromirror. Spring specifications in the current device were the same as in the previous case and therefore we can estimate that the current device was very reliable for the optical probe usage. Reliability tests were not carried out specifically for the OCT probe micromirror device. The flatness of the micromirror was measured using a WYKO surface profiler and found to be 30 mm. We stripped thin films one by one and found no appreciable change in the curvature until Cr was removed. similar thermal actuated micro mirror was tested for about 100 million cycles at 40 Hz previously . and in our feasibility study also . we observed repeatable scanning along the straight line. we will rectify this issue and would have flatter micromirror for integration in optical probe. In our future work. A Labview program was used to write loop structure patterns using applied voltage as X-Y points in 2D space.
housing and wire bonding for electrical connection. The package provides self assembly where one component alignment forces others to align as well . a upper substrate and a lower substrate. a novel SiOB precision assembly scheme has been used to reduce the diameter size of the probe and it was also useful to overcome difficulties in providing electrical connections to the micromirror at the distal end. 6A and the assembly process is illustrated in Fig. In an earlier reported work . The SiOB package assembly consists of a pair of silicon substrates. the GRIN lens. Silicon etching in aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) was used to anisotropically cut the slot for the micromirror device in the 6 . In the work presented in this article. a machined aluminum package with tiny screw sets was used for housing and optical alignment. In another design . 6B. The fabrication process for the lower substrate of SiOB is shown in Fig. a OCT probe with 5 mm diameter was realized using acrylic sheath package assembly. with assembly slots for the single mode fiber (SMF). (B) Side-view of SiOB assembly.Figure 6: (A) Fabrication process of lower substrate of a SiOB. and the micromirror.
The micromirror was manually placed in the etched trench of the lower substrate. 7A). 7 . These two processes provided for the self alignment between GRIN lens and the micromirror. There were five contact pads on the MEMS micromirror chip and five 200 µm size solder balls were placed between these pads and the metal lines on the lower substrate. The GRIN lens was aligned to lightly focus the optical beam onto the micromirror in the trench (Fig.7˚ from the wafer surface due to crystallographic orientation dependent etch of silicon provided a perfect way to bring metal lines on trench slopes closer to the metal pads on the micromirror.04 numerical aperture (NA) and 5 mm working distance (GRINTECH GmbH. 7C). At the proximal end of the polycarbonate housing. 7). 7B. Fig. Sloped trench formed in aqueous solution of KOH at 54. Subsequently reflow and curing were carried out to establish rigid connection between the two.lower substrate and the deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process was used to cut GRIN lens and SMF slots at 45 degrees to the micromirror slot on the upper substrate. The side walls of the tube were 300 µm thick and they were coated with an antireflection coating to minimize loss of light. Metal lines were patterned on the lower substrate to provide metal connections to the micromirror. The upper silicon substrate was thinned down to appropriate thickness and a 500 µm diameter SMF attached GRIN lens with 0.5 mm so that we left 3.5 mm from the actually working distance between the center of the micromirror to the focal point. The distance between the front surface of the GRIN lens and the center of the micromirror is 1. Germany) was fixed in the slots of the upper substrate. A completed bonding is shown in a SEM micrograph. a small printed circuit board (PCB) and 5 tiny electrical wires provided an interface for external drive circuit (not shown in Fig. The assembled SiOB probe was finally housed in a transparent polycarbonate injection molded tube (i3 Lab Pte Ltd. Singapore) of the outer diameter less than 4 mm (Fig.
National Instruments. 4. United Kingdom). Figure 8: (A) Schematic diagram of the swept source OCT system integrated with the two-axis MEMS scanning probe. The output of the light source was split into the sample arm and the reference arm by a broad band 50/50 fiber coupler.2. the micromirror requires up to 20 mA current for full range of deflection of each electrothermal actuator but the output current of PCI-6711 card was limited to 5 mA per channel. OCT imaging results 8 .1. United States). (B) SEM micrograph of assembly of a micromirror to SiOB with micro solder balls (turned 90˚ from Fig. AlazarTech. This limitation was overcome by a current buffer circuit. The schematic diagram of the system is shown in Fig. The peak-to-peak amplitude and frequency of the saw tooth waveform were controlled by the software of the OCT system. 4. United States) to drive two adjacent actuators of the micromirror for fast raster scan across the sample surface. 7A) and (C) Photo of an assembled miniature OCT probe with a one dollar coin. 125 MS/s PCI digitizer (ATS460. Canada) to initiate data acquisition for OCT interference fringe signals. (B) Photo of the probe holder and multi-axis sample platform for testing. The sample arm of the swept source OCT system included a microscopy head with an objective lens and a pair of X-Y galvo mirrors (Model 6210H. Thorlabs.Figure 7: (A) SiOB assembly and package. A-line acquisition trigger signal generated by the swept light source was fed to a 14 bit. which has a full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) bandwidth of 110 nm centered at 1325 nm and 16 kHz fast frequency sweep rate. Cambridge Technology. The swept-source OCT system incorporates a high speed frequency swept external cavity laser (SL1325-P16. Saw tooth waveforms were generated by a 12 bit high speed analog output board (PCI 6711. United States). Experimental setup The testing of assembled SiOB MEMS OCT probe was carried out using a commercial swept source OCT system (OCM1300SS. 8B. 8A. which provided sufficient output current for the electrothermal actuators. Thorlabs. A photo of the probe holder and multi-axis sample platform for testing is shown in Fig. OCT imaging experiment 4. it was replaced with the assembled SiOB MEMS OCT probe. A SMF with certain length was inserted into the reference arm to compensate for optical path length mismatch between the two arms. As mentioned above.
Olympus America Inc. It is important to note that slight distortion was observed at the right edge of the image due to scanning nonlinearity caused by truncation of the saw tooth waveform from the swept source OCT system. The resolution is estimated to be ~20 µm transverse and ~12 µm axial in air. United States) with 0. 450 cross-sectional OCT images (Fig. 9D as three orthogonal slices in axial. An en face OCT image of an arbitrary two dimensional horizontal plane in a relatively small region of the IR viewing card is shown in Fig. A series of two dimensional cross-sectional images which were stacked together to construct a three dimensional cross-sectional image was obtained by the micromirror in raster scan. OCT images.55 mm x 0. 9A. The frame rate. The two images in Fig. both en face and three dimensional. In our study. Conclusion 9 . This en face image was extracted from the organized 3D data set. 9. the current imaging area of our device was limited by the 30 mm radius of curvature of the MEMS micromirror.5 fps in our study. (C) A stack of 2D cross-sectional OCT images for 3D reconstruction. In addition. the imaging area would increase significantly if the radius of curvature was more than 300 mm. sagittal and coronal directions respectively. A reference en face image of the IR viewing card was obtained by a widefield optical microscope (BX61.55 mm x 1 mm. An infrared (IR) viewing card (VC-VIS/IR.75 NA objective lens and 550 nm light illumination. is 21. (B) OCT en face image. the image is shown in Fig. Thorlabs. 9A and 9B may not refer to the same position of the sample. which is also the switching rate of the micromirror. obtained by the SiOB MEMS OCT probe are shown in Fig.Figure 9: (A) En face image obtained by a wildfield optical microscope. The three dimensional image has the dimensions of ~0. 5. this rate meets the requirements of the video rate imaging. This operational difference led to peak truncation of the saw tooth waveform. 9B. A symmetrical bipolar saw tooth waveform was required to differentially drive the galvo mirrors while the MEMS micromirror needed a unipolar saw tooth waveform with a relatively large DC offset. (D) Orthogonal slices of OCT images of IR viewing card acquired using the SiOB MEMS OCT probe. United States) consisting of a transparent polymer surface and photosensitive material beneath the surface was used as an imaging target.. 9C) were sequentially recorded in binary file format to combine and reconstruct three dimensional volume image shown in Fig.
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