Micro-mechanical switch array for meso-scale actuation

Eniko T. Enikov, Kalin V. Lazarov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Traditional micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) actuators have limited stroke and force characteristics. This paper describes the development of a hybrid actuation solution, which utilizes a micro-machined actuator array to provide switching of the mechanical motion of a larger meso-scale piezo-electric actuator. One motivating application of this technology is the development of a tactile display, where discrete mechanical actuators apply vibratory excitation at discrete locations on the skin. Specifically, this paper describes the development, fabrication, and characterization of a 4 × 5 micro-actuator array of individual vibrating pixels for fingertip tactile communication. The individual pixels are turned on and off by pairs of microscopic thermal actuators, while the main vibration is generated by a vibrating piezo-electric plate. The fabrication sequence and actuation performance of the array are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-293
Number of pages12
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 31 2005


  • Meso-scale system
  • Piezo-actuators
  • Tactile display
  • Thermal actuators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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