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Analysis of hybrid electrothermomechanical microactuators with integrated electrothermal and electrostatic actuation

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Title: Analysis of hybrid electrothermomechanical microactuators with integrated electrothermal and electrostatic actuation
Author(s): Alwan, Aravind
Advisor(s): Aluru, Narayana R.
Department / Program: Mechanical Sci & Engineering
Discipline: Mechanical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Hybrid electrothermomechanical (ETM) actuation electrothermal actuation electrostatic actuation microelectromechanical systems Lagrangian analysis boundary integral equations microswitches stiction
Abstract: The goal of this research is to integrate electrothermal and electrostatic actuation in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). We look at cases where these two types of actuation are intimately coupled and argue that such integrated electrothermomechanical microactuators have more advantages than pure electrothermal or electrostatic devices. We further propose a framework to model hybrid electrothermomechanical actuation to get a consistent solution for the coupled mechanical, thermal and electrical fields in the steady-state. Employing a Lagrangian approach, the inhomogeneous current conduction equation is used to describe the electric potential, while the thermal and displacement fields are obtained by solving the nonlinear heat conduction equation and by performing a large deformation mechanical analysis, respectively. To preserve numerical accuracy and reduce computational time, we also incorporate a boundary integral formulation to describe the electric potential in the medium surrounding the actuator. We show through the example of a hybrid double-beam actuator, that electrothermomechanical actuation results in low voltage, low power operation that could be used for switching applications in MEMS. We also extend the same device towards bidirectional actuation and demonstrate how it may be used to overcome common problems like stiction that occur in MEMS switches.
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/24296
Rights Information: Copyright 2009 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission from A. Alwan and N. R. Aluru, Analysis of hybrid electrothermomechanical microactuators with integrated electrothermal and electrostatic actuation, Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Oct 2009.Copyright 2011 Aravind Alwan
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05
 

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