Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Precision bonding makes tiny high performance actuators possible

04.10.2005


Using a new precision bonding process they developed, Penn State researchers have designed and fabricated tiny new piezoelectric microactuators -- the largest only a hair’s breadth wide -- based on coupling commercially available materials with existing micromachining technology.


Some possible applications of the new Penn State piezoelectric microactuator



The new actuators promise to be low cost, and capable of providing controlled force, high resolution and large displacements appropriate for applications in RF switches for cell phones, for example, or optical switches for wide screen TVs. Other potential applications include microfluidic pumps and valves, micromanipulators for nanoscale handling and atomic force microscope drives.

Dr. Srinivas A. Tadigadapa, associate professor of electrical engineering and a developer of the bonding process and microactuator, says, "These new piezoelectric microactuators are the first realized using microfabrication methods, a mature technology used to make computer chips and micromachines from silicon-based materials. Our new low temperature wafer bonding techniques, which make the actuators possible, can also be used for precision integration of dissimilar materials in other micro-electro-mechanical systems."


The new actuators and bonding process are described in a paper, Fabrication and performance of a flextensional microactuator, which appears in the current online edition of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (JMM). The paper will also be featured in the October print version of JMM.

The authors are Jongpil Cheong, who earned his doctorate at Penn State this year, Abhijat Goyal, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering, Dr. Tadigadapa and Dr. Christopher D. Rahn, professor of mechanical engineering.

The new actuators are made from flat strips of bulk PZT, a commercially available piezoelectric material that shrinks slightly when a voltage is applied to it, and a precision micromachined silicon beam. Bonding the silicon beam to the PZT amplifies and converts the PZT shape change into a convex deflection when the silicon beam buckles as the PZT shrinks.

In operation in the actuator, the measured deflection of the silicon beam shows a gain factor of 20 with respect to the PZT dimensional change.

For the bonding process in fabricating the new actuators, the Penn State researchers use photolithography and low temperature solders to produce the distinctive bridge shape they need.

Dr. Tadigadapa notes, "The PZT depoles if you heat it too high. Therefore, the temperature is crucial. A low temperature solder bonding process at 200 C was used in this work."

Using their new approach, the researchers have fabricated actuators with dimensions ranging from 350 to 600 microns in length, 50 to 100 microns (about the width of a human hair) in width, and 5 to 6 microns in thickness.

In tests, the actuators showed good repeatability with a large amplitude stroke of about 8 microns when actuated using -100V to 100V. The bandwidth of the actuator was measured at 265 KHz.

Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light
05.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>