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Improved Nanopositioning Resolution Through Piezoresistive Feedback Control of a MEMS Thermal Actuator

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert K. Messenger, Timothy W. McLain, Larry L. Howell

Brigham Young University

Paper No. IMECE2005-81209, pp. 1327-1334; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Dynamic Systems and Control, Parts A and B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4216-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Utilizing the piezoresistive properties of polysilicon as an on-chip sensing mechanism facilitates the implementation of feedback control on surface-micromachined MEMS devices. We have performed nanopositioning resolution tests on a MEMS thermal actuator, both open and closed loop, to demonstrate the performance improvements possible with feedback control. A thermomechanical in-plane microactuator (TIM), fabricated using the MUMPS fabrication process, was used in this study. The actuator was coupled to a piezoresistive displacement sensor (PRDS) that was fabricated as part of the same process. Measurements of the actuator output, taken using a scanning electron microscope, show that nanopositioning repeatability improved from ±59 nm to ±31 nm when feedback control is employed.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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