Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we report spatially resolved temperature profiles along the legs of working V-shaped electrothermal (ET) actuators using a surface Raman scattering technique. The Raman probe provides nonperturbing optical data with a spatial resolution of 1.2 μm, which is required to observe the 3-μm-wide actuator beams. A detailed uncertainty analysis reveals that our Raman thermometry of polycrystalline silicon is performed with fidelity of ±10 to 11 K when the peak location of the Stokes-shifted optical phonon signature is used as an indicator of temperature. This level of uncertainty is sufficient for temperature mapping of many working thermal MEMS devices which exhibit characteristic temperature differences of several hundred Kelvins. To our knowledge, these are the first quantitative and spatially resolved temperature data available for thermal actuator structures. This new temperature data set can be used for validation of actuator thermal design models and these new results are compared with finite-difference simulations of actuator thermal performance.