MEMS thermal actuator

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A MEMS thermal actuator is a micromechanical device that typically generates motion by thermal expansion amplification. A small amount of thermal expansion of one part of the device translates to a large amount of deflection of the overall device. Usually fabricated out of doped Single Crystal Silicon or Polysilicon as a complex compliant member, the increase in temperature can be achieved internally by electrical resistive heating or externally by a heat source capable of locally introducing heat. Microfabricated thermal actuators can be integrated into micromotors.[1][2]

Types of thermal actuators[edit]

  • Asymmetric (bimorph)[3][4]
  • Symmetric (bent beam, chevron)[5][6]

Other types of MEMS Actuators[edit]


  1. ^ Park, J.S.; Chu, L.L.; Oliver, A.D.; Gianchandani, Y.B. (2001). "Bent-beam electrothermal actuators-Part II: Linear and rotary microengines". Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems. 10 (2): 255–262. doi:10.1109/84.925774. 
  2. ^ Maloney, J.M.; Schreiber, D.S.; DeVoe, D.L. (2004). "Large-force electrothermal linear micromotors" (PDF). J. Micromech. Microeng. 14 (2): 226. doi:10.1088/0960-1317/14/2/009. 
  3. ^ Guckel, H.; Klein, J.; Christenson, T.; Skrobis, K.; Laudon, M.; Lovell, E.G. (1992). "Thermo-magnetic metal flexure actuatorsThermo-magnetic metal flexure actuators". Solid-State Sensor and Actuator Workshop, 1992. 5th Technical Digest. pp. 73–75. doi:10.1109/SOLSEN.1992.228273. 
  4. ^ Comtois, J.; Bright, V. (1996). "Surface Micromachined Polysilicon Thermal Actuator Arrays and Applications". Technical Digest, 1996 Solid State Sensors and Actuators Workshop. pp. 174–7. 
  5. ^ Que, L.; Park, J.-S.; Gianchandani, Y.B. (1999). "Bent-beam electro-thermal actuators for high force applications". Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 1999. MEMS '99. Twelfth IEEE International Conference on. pp. 31–36. doi:10.1109/MEMSYS.1999.746747. 
  6. ^ Sinclair, M.J. (2000). "A high force low area MEMS thermal actuator". Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, 2000. ITHERM 2000. The Seventh Intersociety Conference on. doi:10.1109/ITHERM.2000.866818. 

External links[edit]

  • Vernatherm - Thermal Actuators - and other Thermostatic Fluid Controls - Rostra Vernatherm
  • - Thermal Actuators - & Mechanical Function Information & Products - Thermal Actuators