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Design and Modeling of an Efficiency Horizontal Thermal Micro-Actuator with Integrated Piezoresistors for Precise Control

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An integrated system made up of a double-hot arm electro-thermal microactuator and a piezoresistor embedded at the base of the 'cold arm' is proposed. The electro-thermo-mechanical modeling and optimization is developed to elaborate the operation mechanism of the hybrid system through numerical simulations. For given materials, the geometry design mostly influences the performance of the sensor and actuator, which can be considered separately. That is because thermal expansion induced heating energy has less influence on the base area of the 'cold arm,' where is the maximum stress. The piezoresistor is positioned here for large sensitivity to monitor the in-plane movement of the system and characterize the actuator response precisely in real time. Force method is used to analyze the thermal induced mechanical expansion in the redundant structure. On the other hand, the integrated actuating mechanism is designed for high speed imaging. Based on the simulation results, the actuator operates at levels below 5 mA appearing to be very reliable, and the stress sensitivity is about 40 MPa per micron.
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Keywords: HORIZONTAL THERMAL ACTUATOR; PIEZORESISTOR; SELF-EVALUATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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