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A reaction force actuator (RFA) was fabricated to translate a microstage with nanostep movement, and its performance was experimentally evaluated using an optical fiber based built-in microinterferometer. The proposed RFA consists of a shuttle mass, movable electrode, fixed electrode, springs, and spring anchor, all of which reside on the movable substrate. The RFA placed on the platform is free to move when the driving force is larger than the static friction. The fixed electrodes are gold-wired to the external electrodes on the platform covered with a dielectric layer for electrical isolation. When external voltage is applied to the electrodes, the springs experience deflections, and the electrostatic force and restoring force react on the movable substrate through the spring anchor and the fixed electrode, respectively. If the driving voltage is large enough that the resultant force overcomes the friction from the platform, the RFA including the movable substrate can make a displacement with no physical collision between the movable and fixed electrodes. In order to suppress the drift motion due to external noise, electrostatic pressure was applied between the movable substrate and the platform on which a 100-μm-thick dielectric thin film is positioned. The nanomotion of the fabricated actuator was evaluated with various voltages using an optical fiber interferometer. The minimum step movement 1.21±0.24 nm was experimentally obtained at the driving voltage of 18 V, and the estimated total displacement was 450 nm at the highest affordable driving voltage of 85 V.
Date of Publication: June 2006