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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Low-power electrothermal actuation for microelectromechanical systems
Author(s): Jack L. Skinner; Paul M. Dentinger; Fabian W. Strong; Steven E. Gianoulakis
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Paper Abstract

Electrothermal actuation has been used in microelectromechanical systems where low actuation voltage and high contact force are required. Power consumption to operate electrothermal actuators has typically been higher than with electrostatic actuation. A method of designing and processing electrothermal actuators is presented that leads to an order of magnitude reduction in required power while maintaining the low voltage, high force advantages. The substrate was removed beneath the actuator beams, thereby discarding the predominant power loss mechanism and reducing the required actuation power by an order of magnitude. Measured data and theoretical results from electrothermally actuated switches are presented to confirm the method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2008
PDF: 7 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 7(4) 043025 doi: 10.1117/1.3013549
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 7, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Jack L. Skinner, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Paul M. Dentinger, FormFactor, Inc. (United States)
Fabian W. Strong, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Steven E. Gianoulakis, Applied Materials, Inc. (United States)


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