Optical displacement sensor

Patent Number: 7,355,720
Issued: 4/8/2008
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: An optical displacement sensor is disclosed which uses a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) coupled to an optical cavity formed by a moveable membrane and an output mirror of the VCSEL. This arrangement renders the lasing characteristics of the VCSEL sensitive to any movement of the membrane produced by sound, vibrations, pressure changes, acceleration, etc. Some embodiments of the optical displacement sensor can further include a light-reflective diffractive lens located on the membrane or adjacent to the VCSEL to control the amount of lasing light coupled back into the VCSEL. A photodetector detects a portion of the lasing light from the VCSEL to provide an electrical output signal for the optical displacement sensor which varies with the movement of the membrane.
Filed: 12/20/2005
Application Number: 11/314,335
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.