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Proceedings Paper

Molecular orientation control for thermal and UV-driven polymer MEMS actuators
Author(s): Kenneth D. Harris; Ruud Cuypers; Patrick Scheibe; Grietje N. Mol; Johan Lub; Cees W. M. Bastiaansen; Dirk J. Broer
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Paper Abstract

We present polymeric MEMS materials which reversibly respond to either thermal or UV stimuli by moving between nearly flat (r ~ infinity) and tightly curled states (r ~ 5mm) with variations in the radiation environment or temperature. The molecular orientation gradient of a liquid crystal network controls the primary bending axes, while controlled order parameter variations are responsible for the degree of deformation. In the case of thermal activation, these order changes are dominated by thermal motion, while UV-switchable defects bring about reduced network order in the case of UV actuation. We report fabrication and operation of the actuators and supplementary data regarding alignment configurations for controllable deformations, the phase behaviour of the liquid crystal constituents, thermal expansions, and absorption of the UV dyes are included. We find that splayed molecular configurations are preferred over twisted modes due to their single deformation axis, and that the optimum concentration of active molecules for UV-driven actuation is on the order of 7-8wt.%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5836, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS II, (1 July 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.608580
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth D. Harris, Technische Univ. Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Ruud Cuypers, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Patrick Scheibe, Technische Univ. Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Grietje N. Mol, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Johan Lub, Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)
Cees W. M. Bastiaansen, Technische Univ. Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Dirk J. Broer, Technische Univ. Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Philips Research Labs. (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5836:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS II
Carles Cane; Jung-Chih Chiao; Fernando Vidal Verdu, Editor(s)

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