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Fabrication and operation of polyimide bimorph actuators for a ciliary motion system

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4 Author(s)
Ataka, M. ; Inst. of Ind. Sci., Tokyo Univ., Japan ; Omodaka, A. ; Takeshima, N. ; fujita, H.

In order to extract macroscopic mechanical work out of microelectromechanical systems, we have proposed the concept of distributed micromotion systems (DMMS). The key idea of DMMS is to coordinate simple motions of many microactuators in order to perform a task. Design, fabrication, and operation of a type of DMMS, called a ciliary motion system, are presented. A bimorph thermal actuator using two types of polyimides with different thermal expansion coefficients and a metallic microheater in between them was fabricated. The cantilever-shaped actuator curled up from the substrate owing to the residual stress in polyimides which built up during the cooling process after they were cured at 350°C. It flattened and moved downward by flowing current in the heater. The dimensions of the cantilever were 500 μm in length, 100 μm in width, and 6 μm in thickness. The tip of the cantilever moved 150 μm in the direction vertical to the substrate and 80 μm in the horizontal direction; these were the maximum displacements obtained with 33 mW dissipated in the heater. The cut-off frequency was 10 Hz. On a 1-cm-square substrate, 512 cantilevers were fabricated to form an array. Two sets of cantilevers were placed opposing to each other. We operated them in coordination to mimic the motion and function of cilia and carried a small piece of a silicon wafer (2.4 mg) at 27-500 μm/s with 4-mW input power to each actuator

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )