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Appl Opt. 2008 Apr 20;47(12):2082-90.

Optimal implementation of a microspectrometer based on a single flat diffraction grating.

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  • 1Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of MicroElectronics/Electronic Instrumentation, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.


An analytical model has been developed and applied to explore the limits in the design of a highly miniaturized planar optical microspectrometer based on an imaging diffraction grating. This design tool has been validated as providing the smallest possible dimensions while maintaining acceptable spectral resolution. The resulting planar spectrometer is composed of two parallel glass plates, which contain all components of the device, including a reflective slit and an imaging diffraction grating. Fabrication is based on microelectromechanical system technology and starts with a single glass wafer; IC-compatible deposition and lithography are applied to realize the parts in aluminum, which makes the microspectrometer highly tolerant for component mismatch. The fabricated spectrometer was mounted directly on top of an image sensor and takes up a volume of only 50 mm(3). The measured spectral resolution of 6 nm (FWHM) in the 100 nm operating wavelength range (600-700 nm) is in agreement with a model calculation.

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