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David L. Dickensheets
530 Cobleigh Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717

Tel: (406) 994-7874
Fax: (406) 994-5958

ECE Department
Montana State University
610 Cobleigh Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717

Tel: (406) 994-2505
Fax: (406) 994-5958

> College of Engineering > Electrical & Computer Engineering Department
Prof. Dickensheets' Research

Professor Dickensheets’ research interests may be broadly categorized as device development which includes advances in micro- and nanofabrication technology, and optical instrument design, especially miniaturized instruments that employ novel micro-optical devices to deliver previously impossible performance.

An example of our device work is a variable focus lens based on a deformable, reflective membrane. This device allows fast focus control with simultaneous correction of common optical aberrations. Because of its small size, excellent performance and low power consumption, it will be useful for miniaturized instruments such as endoscopic microscopes, or for commercial devices such as cell phone cameras. Other device development efforts include molded silicon nitride pointing mirrors and other structures, a full 3-D mirror with both focus and 2-D beam scanning capability, and nanostructured silicon for diffractive and integrated optics applications.

An example of our instrument development work is a handheld confocal microscope with built-in Raman backscatter sampling for skin cancer imaging and diagnosis, a project under way in partnership with researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. This instrument benefits from a MEMS scanner to reduce size, weight and power consumption, and may lead to immediate diagnosis of skin cancer without requiring a tissue biopsy. Other instrument development efforts include dynamic focus optical coherence tomography (OCT) in partnership with researchers at University of Toronto, and the CMaRS confocal microscope and Raman spectrometer developed as a proof-of-concept for exploration of the Martian surface.

Please contact us for additional information about any of these projects.
ME MS “3-D mirror” for tip, tilt and focus control
confocal microscope
Handheld Confocal Microscope


Microdevice development projects

Active Projects

Membrane focus control mirrors 

High speed Silicon Nitride membrane mirrors

Large deflection polymer membrane mirrors

Closed loop control for full-gap deflection of electrostatic devices

Nanostructured silicon for diffractive optical elements


Recent Projects

Molded surface micromachined structures

3-D MEMS mirror for laser scanning/focus control


Optical Instrument Development Projects

Active Projects

Confocal Microscope with Raman Sampling for Skin Imaging 

Dynamic focus OCT

Dynamic Focus Microscope for Live Animal Imaging


Recent Projects

Endoscopic Confocal Microscope

CMaRS Confocal Microscope and Raman Spectrometer for planetary exploration

View Text-only Version Text-only Updated: 03/18/2009
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