We present the design, fabrication, and testing of a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) light modulator based on pixels patterned with periodic nanohole arrays. Flexure-suspended silicon pixels are patterned with a two dimensional array of 150 nm diameter nanoholes using nanoimprint lithography. A top glass plate assembled above the pixel array is used to provide a counter electrode for electrostatic actuation. The nanohole pattern is designed so that normally-incident light is coupled into an in-plane grating resonance, resulting in an optical stop-band at a desired wavelength. When the pixel is switched into contact with the top plate, the pixel becomes highly reflective. A 3:1 contrast ratio at the resonant wavelength is demonstrated for gratings patterned on bulk Si substrates. The switching time is 0.08 ms and the switching voltage is less than 15V.
Skinner, Jack L.; Talin, A. Alec; and Horsley, David A., "A MEMS Light Modulator Based on Diffractive Nanohole Gratings" 17 March 2008, Vol. 16, No. 6, Optics Express 3701.