A 20 µm Movable Micro Mobile

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We present design, fabrication, and characterization of an extremely small (20×14 µm) movable 3D micro vehicle. The micro mobile was fabricated using a combination of focused-ion-beam (FIB) for micro/nano parts production, atomic layer deposition (ALD) for friction reduction coating, and a nano manipulator for semi-automated manipulation/assembly of micro/nano parts. A micromachined magnet was used as the frame for the micro vehicle. The magnetic frame was used to move the vehicle by applied magnetic forces. The movable silicon 3D micro mobile is 20 m long 14 m wide and has 3 m diameter wheel and 400 nm diameter axle using semi-automated nano precision assembly process. The completed micro mobile was placed on a silicon wafer and it was physically pushed by a computer-controlled nano manipulator. It was clearly evident that wheels were physically rotated and the micro mobile was reliably and repeatedly driven. In order to develop self-driven micro movable vehicles, an NdFeB magnet was micromachined to form a frame for the micro mobile. The magnet-framed micro mobile was repeatedly driven by external magnetic force using manipulation of a tiny magnet attached on a nano probe. To the author’s knowledge, this is the smallest movable micro vehicles ever been reported.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2008: Microsystems, Photonics, Sensors, Fluidics, Modeling, and Simulation – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 3
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 190 - 193
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: Sensors - Chemical, Physical & Bio
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8505-1