A voltage controls the size of the gap between two mirrors in a MEMS structure. The size of this gap determines the wavelength of light that is allowed to pass through. By quickly changing the voltage across these mirrors, the structure acts as a tuneable filter. This means that the user effectively has a spectrometer but with the low cost and small footprint of a single element sensor.
Such a device opens up exciting avenues in applications like atmospheric measurement; where handheld devices require components that are low size and low power consumption.
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