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Development of Latching Type Large Vertical-Travel Microactuator

[+] Author Affiliations
Risaku Toda, Eui-Hyeok Yang

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Paper No. IPACK2005-73390, pp. 1755-1759; 5 pages
  • ASME 2005 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Packaging of MEMS, NEMS, and Electronic Systems collocated with the ASME 2005 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Advances in Electronic Packaging, Parts A, B, and C
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 17–22, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4200-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3762-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


This paper describes design, fabrication and preliminary characterization of a proof-of-concept vertical-travel microactuator, providing linear motion and high precision positioning in space. The microactuator is capable of providing latching function when it is un-powered to maintain its position. The microactuator consists of two opposing comb drive actuator dies, a slider and bulk PZT actuators sandwiched between the dies. The slider is inserted between clutches. Comb drives are connected to the clutches to engage/disengage clutching. Sequential activation of the comb drives (in-plane motion) and the PZT actuator (out-of-plane motion) provides cumulative linear travel of the slider. The novelty of the slider insertion approach include (1) post-fabrication engagement of comb teeth enabling thick wafer DRIE process for comb drive actuators and (2) stressed tethers enabling zero-power latching. A test device was fabricated and assembled. By applying 100V∼300V DC to the electrostatic comb drive, lateral actuation of clutches was observed. Vertical actuation by PZT was also confirmed using WYKO RST plus interferometer.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Microactuators



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