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Vol. 13, Special Issue, December 2011, pp.31-43




An Electro-thermal MEMS Gripper with Large Tip Opening and Holding Force: Design and Characterization



Oakland University, 102A SEB, 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester, Michigan 48309, USA

Tel.: 248-470-3388, fax: 248-370-4633

E-mail: jkhazaai@oakland.edu



Received: 29 June 2011   /Accepted: 16 November 2011   /Published: 28 December 2011

Handbook of Laboaratory Measurements book


Abstract: This paper presents the design, fabrication, and characterization of a novel MEMS gripper that is driven electro-thermally by a new V-shape actuator (VSA) and a set of modified Guckel U-shape actuators (mUSA). The modification of the angle between the hot and cold arms in the mUSA facilitates unidirectional in-plane displacement causing the opening of the gripper. This configuration distinguishes the MEMS gripper from others in its ability to generate larger tip displacement and greater holding force. The metallic structures allow for a low operating voltage and low overall power consumption. A tip opening of 173.4 μm has been measured at the operating voltage of 1 V with consuming power of 0.85 W. MetalMUMPs is employed to fabricate the device, in which electroplated nickel is used as the structural material.


Keywords: MEMS, Micro gripper, Micro actuator, Electro-thermal, MetalMUMPs


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