Digital Repository, ICF12, Ottawa 2009

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Compliant MEMS Device Actuation and Fracture
Alex A. Volinsky, Ke Du, Craig Lusk

Last modified: 2013-05-07


Compliant MEMS mechanisms are capable of large out-of-plane displacementsinduced by in-plane actuation. An attempt to actuate one such compliant MEMSdevice with a nanoindentation apparatus resulted in the slider fracture. In additionto the easily predictable forces associated with the mechanism’s elasticdeformation, frictional forces become important at the device level, and need tobe accounted for. A lateral force of 1.6 mN was necessary to move the sliderdisconnected from the compliant MEMS device, which is comparable to theforces required to achieve the planned elastic deflections of the device itself. Thehigh frictional forces are attributed to the slider design and the indenter tip conicalgeometry imparting large normal forces. Unfortunately, the conical geometry cannot be avoided when using probe needles for device actuation, thus the sliderdesign needs to be optimized for the probe geometry.

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