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Effects of Added Mass on Lead-Zirconate-Titanate (PZT) Thin-Film Microactuators in Aqueous Environments

[+] Author Affiliations
Chuan Luo, G. Z. Cao, I. Y. Shen

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Chen-Wei Yang

National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

Paper No. DETC2013-12043, pp. V001T09A006; 5 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 15th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 10th International Conference on Design Education; 7th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5584-3
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


In this paper, we conduct experimental and theoretical studies of a lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) thin-film microactuator probe submerged in water. The microactuator consists of a base silicon diaphragm, a layer of bottom electrode, a layer of lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) thin film, and a layer of top electrode. The diaphragm is anchored on a silicon substrate by etching the silicon substrate from the back to form a cavity under the diaphragm. The diaphragm along with part of its anchor is then diced off from the silicon substrate to form a PZT probe and subsequently packaged with parylene. The probe tip has dimensions of 1 mm × 1 mm × 0.4 mm, while the diaphragm has dimensions of 800 μm × 800 μm × 2 μm. In the experimental study, frequency response functions of actuator displacement are measured via a laser Doppler vibrometer and a spectrum analyzer. The measurements show that the first natural frequency of the microactuator reduces from 80 kHz in air to 20 kHz when the microactuator is submerged in water. A literature search indicates that the surrounding water induces significant added mass to the microactuator. Estimation of the added mass based on theories in fluid mechanics successfully reconcile the predicted frequency to the vicinity of 20 kHz confirming the effects of added mass.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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