Abstract

Surface micromachined electrothermal V-beam microactuators have been investigated and integrated into a microstepper motor design. 2 μm thick, 2 μm wide, 400 μm long polysilicon microactuators were fabricated and tested for displacement and operational lifetime. Displacement results compare well to a theoretical model. Reliability of the microactuators was also evaluated. Arrays of electrothermal V-beam microactuators were developed to provide actuation for novel microstepper motor designs. Motor displacement and speed have been measured, with repeatable 3.2 μm and 2.5 μm step sizes for forward and reverse directions for a driving voltage of 8 V and frequencies up to 1000 Hz. Maximum speeds of 4200 μm/sec and 3100 μm/sec were observed at 8 V and 1800 Hz for forward and reverse operation.

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