Near-Infrared Laser Actuated Cantilevers with Wavelength-Dependent Response

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Development of microscale actuating technologies has been critical for interacting with natural components at the cellular level. Small-scale actuators and switches have potential in areas such as microscale pumping and particle manipulation. Thermal actuation has been used with specific geometry to create large deflections with high force relative to electrostatically driven systems. However, many thermally based techniques require a physical connection for power and operate outside the temperature range conducive for biological studies and medical applications. The work presented here describes the design and simulation of out-of-plane micro cantilevers that mechanically respond to near-infrared light (nIR) with a wavelength dependent response. In contrast to thermal actuating principles that require wired conductive components for joule heating, the devices envisioned here are wirelessly powered by nIR light by patterning a wavelength-specific absorbent gold nanoparticle (GNP) film onto the microstructure. An optical window exists which allows nIR wavelength light to permeate living tissue, and high stress mismatch in the bilayer geometry allows for large actuation at biologically acceptable limits. Patterning the GNP film will allow thermal gradients to be created from a single laser source, and integration of various target wavelengths will allow for MEMS devices with multiple operating modes.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2014: MEMS, Fluidics, Bio Systems, Medical, Computational & Photonics
Published: June 15, 2014
Pages: 21 - 24
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 978-1-4822-5827-1