Optically transparent gripper for microassembly

Eniko T. Enikov, Kalin V. Lazarov

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Production of complex Micro-Opto Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) often requires assembly of a system from individual components built by mutually incompatible processes. This fabrication step also constitutes the largest portion of the total cost (about 80%), and is one of the major roadblocks to successfully implementing a complex microsystem. Our previous experience with such systems shows, that gripping and manipulation of microparts significantly differs from the assembly of macroscopic devices. The main difference stems from the increased role of the surface electrostatic forces and the reduced influence of body forces such as gravity. This paper describes one possible use of the surface forces in the development of a novel optically transparent electrostatic microgripper. The principle of operation, design and simulation of the new device are described. Several models describing the gripping force are also presented. The out-of-plane and in-plane holding (frictional) forces are measured as a function of the applied voltage for two common materials - silicon and nickel. The fabrication sequence and the materials used are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
EventMicrorobotics and Microassembly III - Newton, MA, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2001Oct 30 2001


  • Electrostatic gripper
  • Microassembly
  • Optical feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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