MEMS Intro

Single crystal silicon is 10x stronger than steel, perfectly elastic and stable

  • Stage is robust, repeatable, precise

Machining tolerance is <1 micron

  • Providing nearly perfect alignment of moving platform to reference frame

High aspect ratio flexures

  • >20:1 aspect ratio
  • Providing design flexibility

Stiffness in travel direction is >1,000 times softer than in all other degrees of freedom

  • Ensures precise control of linear motion


MEMS actuator is based on a comb drive

  • Comb drives are capacitive actuators that utilize electrostatic forces that act between two electrically conductive combs
  • Combs are arranged so they never touch
  • When voltage is applied, it causes the combs to be drawn together, causing movement
  • The force (and movement) is proportional to the square of the applied voltage between the combs