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Detailed study of scratch drive actuator characteristics using high-speed imaging

Li, L. and Brown, J.G. and Uttamchandani, D.G. (2001) Detailed study of scratch drive actuator characteristics using high-speed imaging. In: Conference on Reliability, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS, 2001-10-22 - 2001-10-24.

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Abstract

Microactuators are one of the key components in MEMS and Microsystems technology, and various designs have been realized through different fabrication processes. One type of microactuator commonly used is the scratch drive actuator (SDA) that is frequently fabricated by surface micromachining processes. An experimental investigation has been conducted on the characteristics of SDAs fabricated using the Cronos Microsystems MUMPs process. The motivation is to compare the response of SDAs located on the same die, and SDAs located on the different dies from the same fabrication batch. A high-speed imaging camera has been used to precisely determine important SDA characteristics such as step size, velocity, maximum velocity, and acceleration over long travel distance. These measurements are important from a repeatability point of view, and in order to fully exploit the potential of the SDA as a precise positioning mechanism. 2- and 3-stage SDAs have been designed and fabricated for these experiments. Typical step sizes varying from 7 nm at a driving voltage of 60 V to 23 nm at 290 V have been obtained.