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Modeling and performance of a magnetic MEMS wiping actuator

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2 Author(s)
G. D. Gray ; Sch. of Chem. & Biomolecular Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; P. A. Kohl

A MEMS magnetic actuator microswitch has been fabricated which, in addition to the primary cantilever bending, exhibits a secondary wiping motion during overdrive. A self-wiping action is desirable in a microswitch because it can help clean the contacts and prevent contact fusing. The wiping action occurs as a result of lowering the total energy of the actuator system with increasing external magnetic field H o. The actuator is batch fabricated using standard microelectronic processing, and the ferromagnetic permalloy is patterned lithographically into long narrow strips on the actuator to maximize the magnetic torque generated for a given actuator size. The total wiping distance for a 1000-mum-long switch was 50 mum with magnetic fields from 10 to 100 mT. A first-principles physical model has been derived for the equilibrium and dynamic behavior of the device, as well as discrete changes in position due to frictional effects

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 4 )