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Thermal micro-actuators are a promising solution to the need for large-displacement, gentle handling force, low-power MEMS actuators. Potential applications of these devices are micro-relays, assembling and miniature medical instrumentation. In this paper the development of thermal microactuators based on SU-8 polymer is described The paper presents the development of a new microgripper which can realize a movement of the gripping arms with possibility for positioning and manipulating of the gripped object. Two models of polymeric microgripper electro-thermo-mechanical actuated, using low actuation voltages, designed for SU-8 polymer fabrication were presented. The electro-thermal microgrippers were designed and optimized using finite element simulations. Electro-thermo-mechanical simulations based on finite element method were performed for each of the model in order to compare the results. Preliminary experimental tests were carried out.
Date of Conference: 9-11 April 2008