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Proceedings Paper

In-plane DEAP stack actuators for optical MEMS applications
Author(s): Jens Brunne; Samar Kazan; Ulrike Wallrabe
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Paper Abstract

Recently, stacked dielectric polymer actuators have gained a lot of attention as MEMS actuators. In this paper we present a new kind of in-plane stack actuator. In contrast to its multilayer counterparts, it consists of only one active layer with inter-digitated microstructured soft electrodes which allow for a linear, radial or even asymmetric pulling motion in the working plane. The single layer design makes it in principle compatible with standard MEMS processes like deep reactive ion etching as well as silicone casting for optical components. Nevertheless, the wafer level fabrication process does not require any photolithography or clean room processes. The actuator consists of a microstructured layer of carbon black or nanotube filled PDMS which is suspended over a KOH etched trench on a (111) silicon wafer. The conductive PDMS electrodes are structured by laser ablation and subsequently embedded in a dielectric. The use of a (111) silicon wafer enables a mask less definition of the trench as the (111) layer is almost not attacked by the KOH etchant. The trench is defined by laser induced damage of the silicon wafer, so only exposed areas are etched. This allows for a true rapid prototyping of actuators with a fabrication time of less than one day.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 79761U (29 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880232
Show Author Affiliations
Jens Brunne, Univ. of Freiburg (Germany)
Samar Kazan, Univ. of Freiburg (Germany)
Ulrike Wallrabe, Univ. of Freiburg (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7976:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011
Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Federico Carpi, Editor(s)

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