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A series of miniaturized, surface-driven rotary and linear electrostatic actuators was designed and fabricated. The finite element analysis method was used to aid in the design and analysis of the electrostatic drive mechanism. The actuators, consisting mainly of a copper-coated 200 μm-thick glass epoxy stator board and a 34 μm-thick carbon-coated polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) film slider, were fabricated using modified printed circuit board techniques. These actuators, able to carry mechanical loads up to 375 times their own weight, can be used as micro conveyers or robots in an automated micromachine assembly environment for a wide range of applications.
Date of Publication: March 1997