Tunable optical filter - US 6822798 B2
A tunable optical filter including at least one deformable membrane actuator. The actuator may include an array of a thousand or millions of individual actuator cells for strength and mechanical robustness. The deformable membrane actuator including a first primary substrate having a first optical portion, an electrically conductive and deformable membrane, an electrically conductive primary substrate electrode and a membrane support structure. The substrate electrode and the membrane support structure are disposed on or adjacent to the first primary substrate, the deformable membrane being supported by the membrane support structure, and a second substrate having a second optical portion. The second substrate is supported by a load support structure disposed on one surface of the deformable membrane and is located a distance from the first substrate. When a voltage is applied between the deformable membrane and the electrically conductive layer, the deformable membrane deforms and alters the distance between the first optical portion and the second optical portion.