Microtech2010 2010

Design and Fabrication of a Low Power Electro-thermal V-shape Actuator With Large Displacement

J. Khazaai
Oakland University, US

Keywords: MEMS, Thermal, Actuator, Modeling


We propose the design and microfabrication of a V-shape MEMS electro-thermal actuator featuring large displacement generation and low power consumption. Electro-thermal MEMS actuators are suitable for a variety of applications where large forces and long traveling distances are needed. Compared to other existing U-shape actuators, the V-shape actuator presented in this work can achieve larger displacement and greater force with a smaller z-displacement. Due to the structural symmetry, the V-shape actuator significantly reduces the undesired out-plane displacement. The uniqueness of the actuator is that rather than a straight connection, the hot arms are joined with the central joint beam at an optimized angle for smaller out-of-plane displacement in in-plane actuation. With 1 V driving voltage applied to both ends of this actuator, a displacement of 2.5 um can be realized at the center joint arm while the reaction force is 49 uN at each anchor. This actuator consumes 2.8 mW which is totally converted to heats and distributed within the structure. The physical measurements are more than 95% in agreement with respective theoretical and FEA results. The actuator proposed in this work can be used in many devices, we have used it in design of a MEMS micro switch.
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