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Micromachines 2012, 3(3), 542-549; doi:10.3390/mi3030542

Characterization of Kink Actuators as Compared to Traditional Chevron Shaped Bent-Beam Electrothermal Actuators

Physical Sciences and Engineering, Electromechanical Microsystems & Polymer Integration Research (EMPIRe) Group, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
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Received: 10 May 2012 / Revised: 19 June 2012 / Accepted: 3 July 2012 / Published: 6 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Switches and Control of Heat Transfer in MEMS)
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Abstract

This paper compares the design and performance of kink actuators, a modified version of the bent-beam thermal actuator, to the standard chevron-shaped designs. A variety of kink and chevron actuator designs were fabricated from polysilicon. While the actuators were electrically probed, these designs were tested using a probe station connected to a National Instruments (NI) controller that uses LabVIEW to extract the displacement results via image processing. The displacement results were then used to validate the thermal-electric-structural simulations produced by COMSOL. These results, in turn, were used to extract the stiffness for both actuator types. The data extracted show that chevron actuators can have larger stiffness values with increasing offsets, but at the cost of lower amplification factors. In contrast, kink actuators showed a constant stiffness value equivalent to the chevron actuator with the highest amplification factor. The kink actuator also had larger amplification factors than chevrons at all designs tested. Therefore, kink actuators are capable of longer throws at lower power levels than the standard chevron designs. View Full-Text
Keywords: chevron; bent-beam; Kink; thermal actuators; simulation chevron; bent-beam; Kink; thermal actuators; simulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rawashdeh, E.; Karam, A.; Foulds, I.G. Characterization of Kink Actuators as Compared to Traditional Chevron Shaped Bent-Beam Electrothermal Actuators. Micromachines 2012, 3, 542-549.

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