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Micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) for mechanical engineers

Description: The ongoing advances in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) are providing man-kind the freedom to travel to dimensional spaces never before conceivable. Advances include new fabrication processes, new materials, tailored modeling tools, new fabrication machines, systems integration, and more detailed studies of physics and surface chemistry as applied to the micro scale. In the ten years since its inauguration, MEMS technology is penetrating industries of automobile, healthcare, biotechnology, sports/entertainment, measurement systems, data storage, photonics/optics, computer, aerospace, precision instruments/robotics, and environment monitoring. It is projected that by the turn of the century, MEMS will impact every individual in the industrial world, totaling sales up to $14 billion (source: System Planning Corp.). MEMS programs in major universities have spawned up all over the United States, preparing the brain-power and expertise for the next wave of MEMS breakthroughs. It should be pointed out that although MEMS has been initiated by electrical engineering researchers through the involvement of IC fabrication techniques, today it has evolved such that it requires a totally multi-disciplinary team to develop useful devices. Mechanical engineers are especially crucial to the success of MEMS development, since 90% of the physical realm involved is mechanical. Mechanical engineers are needed for the design of MEMS, the analysis of the mechanical system, the design of testing apparatus, the implementation of analytical tools, and the packaging process. Every single aspect of mechanical engineering is being utilized in the MEMS field today, however, the impact could be more substantial if more mechanical engineers are involved in the systems level designing. In this paper, an attempt is made to create the pathways for a mechanical engineer to enter in the MEMS field. Examples of application in optics and medical devices will be used to illustrate how mechanical engineers made impact. Through a basic understanding of the history of MEMS, ...
Date: November 18, 1996
Creator: Lee, A. P., LLNL
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electrostatic comb drive for vertical actuation

Description: The electrostatic comb finger drive has become an integral design for microsensor and microactuator applications. This paper reports on utilizing the levitation effect of comb fingers to design vertical-to-the-substrate actuation for interferometric applications. For typical polysilicon comb drives with 2 {micro}m gaps between the stationary and moving fingers, as well as between the microstructures and the substrate, the equilibrium position is nominally 1-2 {micro}m above the stationary comb fingers. This distance is ideal for many phase shifting interferometric applications. Theoretical calculations of the vertical actuation characteristics are compared with the experimental results, and a general design guideline is derived from these results. The suspension flexure stiffnesses, gravity forces, squeeze film damping, and comb finger thicknesses are parameters investigated which affect the displacement curve of the vertical microactuator. By designing a parallel plate capacitor between the suspended mass and the substrate, in situ position sensing can be used to control the vertical movement, providing a total feedback-controlled system. Fundamentals of various capacitive position sensing techniques are discussed. Experimental verification is carried out by a Zygo distance measurement interferometer.
Date: July 10, 1997
Creator: Lee, A. P., LLNL
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A low power, tight seal, polyimide electrostatic microvalve

Description: An electrostatically-actuated polyimide microvalve is developed with sub-micron gaps between the electrodes to provide high force with low power consumption (< 1 mW). Built-in residual stress results in a curled bimorph cantilever which allows for a n-Licroactuator with large displacement. This microactuator is used to open and close a fluid path hole etched in silicon for a microvalve. The microactuator can be actuated with 25V for a displacement of 200 {mu}m. The cantilever actuator is mainly composed of polyimide, which is flexible enough to conform over the flow hole, thereby eliminating the need for the design of a valve seat.
Date: April 17, 1996
Creator: Lee, A.P.; Hamilton, J. & Trevino, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thin film conductive polymer for microactuator and micromuscle applications

Description: Conductive polymer/polyimide bimorphic microcantilevers have been actuated vertically (out-of-plane) upon the volumetric changes induced by electrochemical doping of the polymer. The microcantilevers that are 200-500 {mu}m in length and 50-100 {mu}m in width can be fully extended from a circularly-curled geometry, and thus generate more than 100 {mu}m displacement. Dynamically the microcantilevers have been driven as fast as 1.2 Hz and the polymer was stable for over a week stored in air and light. Residual stresses in the polymer film is estimated to be as high as 254 MPa, and actuation stresses are as high as 50 MPa.
Date: April 14, 1994
Creator: Lee, A.P.; Hong, K.; Trevino, J. & Northrup, M.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A practical microgripper by fine alignment, eutectic bonding and SMA actuation

Description: A silicon microgripper with a large gripping force, a relatively rigid structural body, and flexibility in functional design is presented. The actuation is generated by Ni-Ti-Cu shape memory alloy (SMA) films and the stress induced can deflect each side of the microgripper up to 55 {mu}m for a total gripping motion of 110 {mu}m. When fully open, the force exerted by the film corresponds to a 40 mN gripping force on the tip of the gripper.
Date: April 21, 1995
Creator: Lee, A. P.; Ciarlo, D. R. & Krulevitch, P. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An AC magnetohydrodynamic micropump: towards a true integrated microfluidic system

Description: An AC Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) micropump has been demonstrated in which the Lorentz force is used to propel an electrolytic solution along a microchannel etched in silicon. This micropump has no moving parts, produces a continuous (not pulsatile) flow, and is compatible with solutions containing biological specimens. micropump, using the Lorentz force as the pumping mechanism for biological analysis. The AC Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) micropump investigated produces a continuous flow and allows for complex microchannel design.
Date: March 1, 1999
Creator: Lee, A P; Lemoff, A V; McConaghy, C F & Miles, R R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

RF-interrogatable hydrogel-actuated biosensor

Description: The authors present a novel micromachined sensor that couples a swellable hydrogel with capacitive detection. The hydrogel swells in response to analyte concentration, exerting contact pressure on a deformable conducting membrane. Results are presented for characterization of a PHEMA hydrogel swelling in response to a calcium nitrate solution. Pressure-deflection measurements are performed on NiTi-based membranes. Hydrogel-actuated deflections of the membranes are measured. These measurements are correlated to determine the pressure generating characteristics of the hydrogel. Membrane deflection techniques have not previously been employed for hydrogel characterization. The PHEMA sample exhibited greatest sensitivity in the pH range of 6.0--6.5 and performed an average of 2.8 Joules of work per m{sup 3} per pH unit in response to ambient conditions over the pH range 3.5--6.5. The membrane deflections correspond to capacitive shifts of about 4 pF per pH unit for a capacitive transducer with initial gap of 100 {micro}m, capacitor plate area of 18.5 mm{sup 2} , and initial hydrogel volume of 11 {micro}L.
Date: January 10, 2000
Creator: Hoel, Z; Wang, A W; Darrow, C B; Lee, A P; McConaghy, C F; Krulevitch, P et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department