FEM Simulation of a Micro-Cantilever Optical-MEMS Sensor

V. Mathur, J. Li, and W.D. Goodhue
Photonics Center, Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

In this work a micro-cantilever optical-MEMS sensor based on the AlGaAs system is designed and modeled. The device consists of two micro-cantilever beams perfectly aligned with the free ends separated by approximately 200 nm up to 2000 nm.

The finite element method (FEM) (COMSOL Multiphysics) has been employed here to model the structural deformation and light propagation through the device. The deformations of the beams are solved first in the structural module with static loading condition. The displaced model is then coupled to the electromagnetics module using the moving mesh Arbitrary Langrangian Eulerian (ALE) method.

The effects of changing load, beam length and spacing on the light coupling loss are reported here. The simulated results have been used to design the micro-cantilever beams of the actual sensor.