Tanner Labs is developing MOICS
(MEMS-based Optical Identification and Communication System),
a technology that provides secure communication between an
interrogator and a compact, lightweight, and robust remote
unit. The key component is the micro-cornercube
reflector (CCR) on the remote unit.
Below we provide micro-cornercube videos, captured using
a microscope, in both MPEG and AVI formats. To view the MPEG
videos, you may have to download a plug-in. The Windows operating
systems provide AVI viewing capabilities.
Micro-Cornercube: Manual Assembly
MOICS cornercubes are fabricated by etching underneath the
the mirrors to release them from the substrate, and then snapping
the mirrors into position. The video below records manual
assembly. The gold squares are the mirrors; each mirror's
area is less than 0.1 mm2.
MPEG (7.5 MB)
AVI (5.1 MB)
Micro-Cornercube: Self Assembly
Manual assembly is difficult and labor-intensive. Hence,
Tanner Labs is developing "self assembly" techniques
in which the mirrors automatically move into position when
a voltage is applied.
The video below records such self-assembly. The voltage is
applied with two probes, one at the lower right, and one on
the left side of the bottom edge.
MPEG (2.0 MB)
AVI (2.2 MB)
The video below records an earlier stage of our self-assembly
MPEG (3.9 MB)
AVI (3.6 MB)
The video below focuses on the sliding track mechanism, also
seen in the videos above, during self assembly.
MPEG (3.0 MB)
AVI (2.0 MB)
When the three mirrors of the micro-cornercube are orthogonal,
the device reflects any incoming signal directly back to its
source. By tilting one of its mirrors, the micro-cornercube
can modulate the reflected signal and thereby transmit
information to the interrogator.
The video below captures one of the cornercube mirrors modulating.
The other two mirrors are perpendicular to the plane of view
and hence cannot be seen easily.
MPEG (2.7 MB)
AVI (2.1 MB)
This research has been sponsored by the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).