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Designs for improving the performance of an electro-thermal in-plane actuator

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17 Author(s)
Kwan, A.M.H. ; Dept. of Electron. & Comput. Eng., Hong Kong Univ. of Sci. & Technol., Kowloon, China ; Sichao Song ; Xing Lu ; Lei Lu
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Reported presently are two designs to improve the performance of a “chevron” electro-thermal in-plane actuator. One incorporates beams with uniform cross-sections but nonuniform lengths and tilt angles to accommodate the thermally induced expansion of the “shuttle”; the other incorporates beams with non-uniform cross-sections to achieve a wider spread of the high temperature “expansion” regions of the beams. With the product of the actuation force and displacement defined as a figure-of-merit, it is verified using finite-element simulation that the incorporation of non-uniform lengths and tilt angles, and non-uniform beam cross-sections leads to respective improvement of 10 and 65% in the figure-of-merit. The effectiveness of these designs was also tested by micro-fabricating actuators occupying fixed device areas.

Published in:

VLSI and System-on-Chip (VLSI-SoC), 2011 IEEE/IFIP 19th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

3-5 Oct. 2011