Metallic microactuators based on sacrificial layer SU8 release

Eniko T. Enikov, Kalin V. Lazarov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Thermal micro-actuators are a promising solution to the need for large-displacement, low-power MEMS actuators. Potential applications of these devices are micro-relays, tunable impedance RF networks, and miniature medical instrumentation. In this paper the development of thermal microactuators based on SU8 is described. A polymeric sacrificial layer allows the removal of the SU8 mold to occur without the use of harsh etching conditions. In addition to silicon non-traditional for MEMS substrates such as RF-printed circuit boards have also been successfully utilized to fabricate the devices. The PCB-based devices exhibited similar characteristics, thus opening the possibility of integrating RF MEMS directly on PCBs. The actuators were benchmarked with respect to power consumption, stroke, and response time. The fabricated nickel actuators are shown to be robust with displacements in the range of 76 micrometers using 80 mW of power. Actual cooling transients were captured using a two-step constant-current excitation method. It is further demonstrated through analytical models that the thermal cooling times limit the bandwidth of these devices below 1KHz. Several commercially relevant applications of the developed actuators are also discussed. One such application is a vibro-tactile display for disabled individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) - 2003
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0791837211, 9780791837214
StatePublished - 2003
Event2003 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Nov 15 2003Nov 21 2003

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Micro-Electromechanical Systems Division Publication (MEMS)


Conference2003 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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