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Study of scratch drive actuator force characteristics

Li, L. and Brown, J.G. and Uttamchandani, D.G. (2002) Study of scratch drive actuator force characteristics. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 12 (6). pp. 736-741. ISSN 0960-1317

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Abstract

Microactuators are one of the key components in MEMS 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 force characteristics of SDAs fabricated using the JDSU Microsystems MUMPs process. One-, two-, three- and four-plate SDAs connected to box-springs have been designed and fabricated for these experiments using MUMPs run 44. The spring constant for the box-springs has been calculated by FEM using ANSYS software. The product of the spring constant and spring extension is used to measure the forces produced by these SDAs. It is estimated that the forces produced exceed 250 μN from a one-plate SDA and 850 μN from a four-plate SDA.