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Proceedings Paper

Large displacement spring-like electro-mechanical thermal actuators with insulator constraint beams
Author(s): J. K. Luo; Y. Q. Fu; A. J. Flewitt; S. M. Spearing; N. A. Fleck; W. I. Milne
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Paper Abstract

A number of in-plane spring-like micro-electro-thermal-actuators with large displacements were proposed. The devices take the advantage of the large difference in the thermal expansion coefficients between the conductive arms and the insulator clamping beams. The constraint beams in one type (the spring) of these devices are horizontally positioned to restrict the expansion of the active arms in the x-direction, and to produce a displacement in the y-direction only. In other two types of actuators (the deflector and the contractor), the constraint beams are positioned parallel to the active arms. When the constraint beams are on the inside of the active arms, the actuator produces an outward deflection in the y-direction. When they are on the outside of the active arms, the actuator produces an inward contraction. Analytical model and finite element analysis were used to simulate the performances. It showed that at a constant temperature, analytical model is sufficient to predict the displacement of these devices. The displacements are all proportional to the temperature and the number of the chevron sections. A two-mask process is under development to fabricate these devices, using Si3N4 as the insulator beams, and electroplated Ni as the conductive beams.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5836, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS II, (1 July 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.608299
Show Author Affiliations
J. K. Luo, Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)
Y. Q. Fu, Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)
A. J. Flewitt, Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)
S. M. Spearing, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)
N. A. Fleck, Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)
W. I. Milne, Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)

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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