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Design and fabrication of a novel microgripper with four-point contact fingers

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3 Author(s)
Zheng, Xiaohu ; Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China and MEMS and Nanotechnology Laboratory, School of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea ; Kim, Ji-Kwan ; Dong-Weon Lee

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A novel microgripper with four-point contact fingers is introduced. It consists of four fingers suspended on the diagonal lines of a square frame in the end of the main cantilever structure located on the silicon substrate. The initial gap between the tips is 20 μm and can be decreased depending on the fabrication techniques. Lightly doped silicon works as the electric-thermal resistor to make the fingers deflect according to the different expansions between the metal layer covered on the top surface and the silicon substrate. The V-grooved pattern on the finger surface could help the finger to generate a larger vertical displacement. The finger tip could move from a “closed” position to an open one by regulating the driven voltage so as to grip and elevate the micro-object. A mathematical model of heat transfer is built up to analyze the temperature contribution of the finger. The displacement and temperature distribution on the finger was simulated by using finite element method software. Then the key fabrication process and its working performance were experimentally evaluated. A satisfactory match between experimental test and finite element simulations was obtained. The results indicate that the new microgripper has a good performance and further potential application in micromanipulation.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )