Design and Fabrication of a Planar Three-DOFs MEMS-Based Manipulator

B.R. de Jong, Dannis Michel Brouwer, Meint J. de Boer, Henricus V. Jansen, Herman Soemers, Gijsbertus J.M. Krijnen

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This paper presents the design, modeling, and fabrication of a planar three-degrees-of-freedom parallel kinematic manipulator, fabricated with a simple two-mask process in conventional highly doped single-crystalline silicon (SCS) wafers (100). The manipulator’s purpose is to provide accurate and stable positioning of a small sample (10 × 20 × 0.2 μm3), e.g., within a transmission electron microscope. The manipulator design is based on the principles of exact constraint design, resulting in a high actuation-compliance combined with a relatively high suspension stiffness. A modal analysis shows that the fourth vibration mode frequency is at least a factor 11 higher than the first three actuation-related mode frequencies. The comb-drive actuators are modeled in combination with the shuttle suspensions gaining insight into the side and rotational pull-in stability conditions. The two-mask fabrication process enables high-aspect-ratio structures, combined with electrical trench insulation. Trench insulation allows structures in conventional wafers to be mechanically connected while being electrically insulated from each other. Device characterization shows high linearity of displacement wrt voltage squared over ±10 μm stroke in the x- and y-directions and ±2◦ rotation at a maximum of 50 V driving voltage. Out-of-plane displacement crosstalk due to in-plane actuation in resonance is measured to be less than 20 pm. The hysteresis in SCS, measured using white light interferometry, is shown to be extremely small. [2009-0254]
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1116-1130
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of microelectromechanical systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • precision engineering
  • EWI-18546
  • multidegrees of freedom
  • nanometer positioning
  • IR-73518
  • trench isolation
  • Exact constraint design
  • Compliant mechanism
  • METIS-267195
  • electrostatic actuators

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