Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



MEMS devices have become ubiquitous in consumer devices and are also being used to conduct experiments on the nano and micro scale. There is a growing need to test the properties of materials at the micro and nanoscale. In order to test those materials, a reliable method of sensing displacement is needed. Another growing area of MEMS research is in creating micro optical cavities that allow for manipulation and control of atoms in QED research. This thesis describes a MEMS based thermally actuated Fabry-Pérot cavity interferometer that has potential as a displacement sensing mechanism for use in material testers and other devices which require motion feedback. Additionally the device has a potential application as a tunable cavity for use in cavity QED experiments. The theory behind the operation of the thermal actuator and the Fabry-Pérot cavity are shown. The design of the actuator and cavity is also discussed in detail as well as the fabrication of both structures. Experiments of the device were performed in a vacuum and in air. The data obtained from experiments are compared to FEA and MATLAB simulations to verify the performance of the device.


MEMS, Thermal Actuator, Chevron Thermal Actuator, Fiber Based Fabry-Pérot Cavity, Cavity QED, Fiber Based Fabry-Pérot Interferometer

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Zayd, Leseman C.

First Committee Member (Chair)

Shen, Yu-Lin

Second Committee Member

Nielson, Gregory N.

Document Type