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Bistable Thin-Film Shape Memory Actuators for Applications in Tactile Displays

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3 Author(s)
Roman Vitushinsky ; Microrobotics Res. Group, Center of Adv. Eur. Studies & Res., Bonn ; Sam Schmitz ; Alfred Ludwig

Bistable shape memory actuators were fabricated by microsystem technology processes and characterized with regard to their use in tactile graphic displays. The actuators were realized as sputter-deposited buckled metallic thin-film carriers, having structured Ti-Ni-Cu and Ti-Ni-Hf shape memory alloys on the top and at the bottom, respectively. They were sputtered on wavy-structured substrate and had lateral dimensions ranging from 2.2 to 3.5 mm in width and from 1 to 3 mm in length. The actuators were switched with voltages in the range of 0.2 to 0.8 V and with currents in the range of 0.2 to 0.8 A. A force of 2.2 mN with a displacement of 0.7 mm was reached. To improve the performance further, a special test setup was developed. The bistable actuators in it were sputtered on a planar substrate with lateral dimensions ranging from 6 to 8 mm in width and from 3 to 6 mm in length. These actuators were switched with actuation voltages in the range of 0.6 to 1.6 V and with currents in the range of 0.6 to 1.8 A. Thus, a force of 16 mN with a displacement of 1.2 mm was reached.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )