HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTROSTATIC COMB-DRIVE MICRO-ACTUATORS
These innovations have enabled comb-drive actuators with very large strokes (±245 µm) at low actuation voltage (120V) and with small device foot-print (8 mm²). These results present the potential for eliminating sideways instability as the dominant effect that has so far limited the actuation stroke in electrostatic comb-drives.
Additionally, we have created closed-form models for the existing and proposed flexure geometries that allow a systematic and step by step procedure for designing the complete comb-drive actuator for optimal performance in a given application. This eliminates guesswork and unpredictability in the design process. Having demonstrated this high performance comb-drive architecture, we are now developing it for applications in high-speed XY MEMS scanners and micro-watt energy harvesting.
In this work, we have systematically investigated and overcome the fundamental challenges that have traditionally limited the performance of MEMS electrostatic comb-drive actuators. Novel flexure mechanism geometries that provide several orders of magnitude superior performance compared to the state-of-the-art have been designed, fabricated, and demonstrated. These have been used to show very large stroke, XY stages, and large stroke MEMS nanopositoners. Having demonstrated this high performance comb-drive architecture, we are now developing it for applications in high-speed XY MEMS scanners and micro-watt energy harvesting.
AWARDS, RECOGNITION, AND WEB-LINKS
|1.||Best Paper Award in Micro and Nano Systems at the 7th International Conference on Micro and Nano Systems, ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC) 2013, Award by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of the ASME Design Engineering Division|
|2.||R&D 100 Award for one of the 100 most innovative and significant technologies of the year, High Performance Electrostatic Comb-drive Micro-Actuators, R&D Magazine, 2013|
|3.||Mechanical Engineering News Article: Awtar Selected to Receive the R&D 100 Award|
|4.||Mechanical Engineering News Article: PSDL Students Take Home Two Best Paper Awards from ASME Conferences|