lasers in space

Micro cantilevers unrolling when hit with an infrared laser

Micro cantilevers unrolling when hit with an infrared laser

It’s not really lasers in space, but now we have a laser feeding into the vacuum of the electron microscope. This is great for viewing how microelectromechanical (MEMS) structures respond to infrared light (915 nm). The problem with viewing our strain-engineered MEMS structures on the workbench with an optical microscope, is that they move in and out of the focal plane. We can still collect data using optical microscopy but it’s hard to show people what’s going on, since most of the device is blurry. In contrast, scanning electron microscopes have a nearly infinite depth of field, putting the entire device in focus.