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Design of Contoured Thermomechanical Actuators and Pulsing Actuation to Enhance Dynamic Performance

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2 Author(s)
Chen, S.-C. ; Dept. of Mech. & Autom. Eng., Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China ; Culpepper, M.L.

This paper presents the concepts, models, and experimental validations of the geometric contouring method and a pulsing technique to enhance dynamic performance of micro thermomechanical actuators (μTMAs). For a typical TMA, contouring may improve its stroke, force, and speed performances by a factor of 4, 2.5, and 10, respectively. In the meantime, the required power for achieving the same performance is reduced by 40%. Herein, we show the following: 1) how to obtain marked dynamic and static performance from μTMAs; 2) how to model and optimize these improvements; and 3) how to use transient electrical command signals to augment these improvements. The utility and practical implementation of these techniques are illustrated via a case study on a stage from a three-axis optical scanner for a two-photon endomicroscope.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )