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A low-voltage rotary actuator fabricated using a five-level polysilicon surface micromachining technology

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5 Author(s)
Krygowski, T.W. ; Intelligent Micromachine Dept., Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; Rodgers, M.S. ; Sniegowski, J. ; Miller, S.M.
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The design, fabrication and characterization of a low-voltage rotary stepper motor are presented in this work. Using a five-level polysilicon MEMS technology, steps were taken to increase the capacitance over previous stepper motor designs to generate high torque at low voltages. A low-friction hub was developed to minimize frictional loads due to rubbing surfaces, producing an estimated resistive torque of about 6 pN-m. This design also allowed investigations into the potential benefit of using hard materials such as silicon nitride for lining of both the stationary and rotating hub components. The result is an electrostatic stepper motor capable of operation at less than six volts.

Published in:

Electron Devices Meeting, 1999. IEDM '99. Technical Digest. International

Date of Conference:

5-8 Dec. 1999