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Bent-beam electrothermal actuators-Part II: Linear and rotary microengines

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4 Author(s)
Jae-Sung Park ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, USA ; L. L. Chu ; A. D. Oliver ; Y. B. Gianchandani

For Part I see L. Que, J.S. Park and Y.B. Gianchandani, ibid., vol.10, pp.247-54 (2001). This paper reports on the use of bent-beam electrothermal actuators for the purpose of generating rotary and long-throw rectilinear displacements. The rotary displacements are achieved by orthogonally arranged pairs of cascaded actuators that are used to rotate a gear. Devices were fabricated using electroplated Ni, p ++ Si, and polysilicon as structural materials. Displacements of 20-30 μm with loading forces >150 μN at actuation voltages <12 V and power dissipation <300 mW could be achieved in the orthogonally arranged actuator pairs. A design that occupies <1 mm 2 area is presented. Long-throw rectilinear displacements were achieved by inchworm mechanisms in which pairs of opposing actuators grip and shift a central shank that is cantilevered on a flexible suspension. A passive lock holds the displaced shank between pushes and when the power is off. This arrangement permits large output forces to be developed at large displacements, and requires zero standby power. Several designs were fabricated using electroplated Ni as the structural material. Forces >200 μN at displacements >100 μm were measured

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 2 )