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Proceedings Paper

Friction in surface-micromachined microengines
Author(s): Samuel L. Miller; Jeffry J. Sniegowski; Glen LaVigne; Paul J. McWhorter
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Paper Abstract

Understanding the frictional properties of advanced Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is essential in order to develop optimized designs and fabrication processes, as well as to qualify devices for commercial applications. We develop and demonstrate a method to experimentally measure the forces associated with sliding friction of devices rotating on a hub. The method is demonstrated on the rotating output gear of the microengine recently developed at Sandia National Laboratories. In-situ measurements of an engine running at 18300 rpm give a coefficient of friction of 0.5 for radial (normal) forces less than 4 (mu) N. For larger forces the effective coefficient of friction abruptly increases, suggesting a fundamental change in the basic nature of the interaction between the gear and hub. The experimental approach we have developed to measure the frictional forces associated with the microengine is generically applicable to other MEMS devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 May 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2722, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Electronics and MEMS, (20 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.240444
Show Author Affiliations
Samuel L. Miller, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Jeffry J. Sniegowski, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Glen LaVigne, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Paul J. McWhorter, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2722:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Electronics and MEMS
Vijay K. Varadan; Paul J. McWhorter, Editor(s)

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