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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Development of all metal electrothermal actuator and its applications
Author(s): Jack K. Luo; J. H. He; Andrew J. Flewitt; David F. Moore; S. Mark Spearing; Norman A. Fleck; William I. Milne
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Paper Abstract

The in-plane motion of microelectrothermal actuator ("heatuator") has been analyzed for Si-based and metallic devices. It was found that the lateral deflection of a heatuator made of a Ni metal is about ~60% larger than that of a Si-based actuator under the same power consumption. Metals are much better for thermal actuators as they provide a relatively large deflection and large force, for a low operating temperature and power consumption. Electroplated Ni films were used to fabricate heatuators. The electrical and mechanical properties of electroplated Ni thin films have been investigated as a function of temperature and plating current density, and the process conditions have been optimized to obtain stress-free films suitable for microelectromechanical systems applications. Lateral thermal actuators have been successfully fabricated, and electrically tested. Microswitches and microtweezers utilizing the heatuator have also been fabricated and tested.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2005
PDF: 10 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 4(2) 023012 doi: 10.1117/1.1898243
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 4, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Jack K. Luo, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
J. H. He, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Andrew J. Flewitt, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
David F. Moore, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
S. Mark Spearing, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
Norman A. Fleck, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
William I. Milne, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

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