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We have established methods for the design and fabrication of a novel MEMS actuator for flow control based on the electrostrictive principle. Patterned metal electrodes were employed in order to obtain large out-of-plane deformation. A series of finite-element method (FEM) analyses of the electrical and strain fields was performed in order to optimize the design parameters. The maximum deformation for 2-mm-diameter actuators reaches 112 mum, which is 5.6% of the actuator diameter and six times larger than that of the plain metal-electrode actuator. The elastic energy density reaches 29% of the stored electrostatic energy. The power consumption at the driving frequency of 100 Hz is estimated to be on the order of 100 muW. The present electrostrictive actuator has a fast response, and its operating frequency is up to several kilohertz. A synthetic jet issuing from a 0.4-mm orifice is successfully developed using the present electrostrictive actuator, and this demonstrates the viability of the present actuator in active flow control.
Date of Publication: June 2007