Voice-coil motors in computer hard disk drives are shown to make excellent mechanical shutters for light beams. Shutter speeds in excess of 10 mm/ms are attained, allowing switching of a focused beam in under 10 μs. Aperture size can be up to 32 mm. As little as 1 mW of power is required for shutter operation. The shutter can be driven with a sinusoidal signal to switch at up to 100 Hz. The shutter is also suitable for x-ray applications. Essentially no modification of the drive or actuator is required for most types of operation.

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Fujitsu 2.1 GB drive (model MPB3021AD). Note: certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this article in order to adequately specific the experimental procedure. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the University of Melbourne, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.
6.
A 40 GB Fujitsu drive (model MPG3409AT).
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