A fabrication process for electrostatic microactuators with integrated gear linkages

R. Legtenberg, E. Berenschot, M. Elwenspoek, J.H.J. Fluitman

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    11 Citations (Scopus)
    204 Downloads (Pure)


    A surface micromachining process is presented which has been used to fabricate electrostatic microactuators. These microactuators are interconnected with each other and linked to other movable microstructures by integrated gear linkages. The gear linkages consist of rotational and linear gear structures, and the electrostatic microactuators include curved electrode actuators, comb-drive actuators, and axial-gap wobble motors. The micromechanical structures are constructed from polysilicon. Silicon dioxide was used as a sacrificial layer, and silicon nitride was used for electrical insulation. A cyclohexane freeze drying technique was used to prevent problems with stiction. The actuators, loaded with various mechanisms, were successfully driven by electrostatic actuation. The work is a first step toward mechanical power transmission in micromechanical systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)234-241
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of microelectromechanical systems
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997


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