We present a new electro-thermal microactuator to have multi-lateral motion in plane by only varying voltage potentials at the contact pads. To extend the operating function, the larger operating range or multi-mode switch, relay and optic tweezer can be achieved. For focusing on the characterization of the microactuator, the finite element software ANSYS is used to perform the electro-thermo-mechanical behaviors of the microactuator to demonstrate the feasibility of the design principle. Design parameters (including structural dimensions, selective doping and thermal boundary conditions) significantly influencing the performance are studied. According to the analysis results, it is found that low voltages (0~7V) are required to achieve displacements in microns with the operating temperatures below 300¢J. The optimal structure can be obtained by varying geometric dimensions and resistivity of the beams to meet the proper performance.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Technical Proceedings of the 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: March 7, 2004
Pages: 299 - 302
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications