Topology optimized design, microfabrication and characterization of electro-thermally driven microgripper

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/1045389X08093548
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TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
ISSN1045-389X
Volume20
Issue6
Subjectmicro-electro-mechanical systems; microgripper; topology optimization; laser microfabrication; performance characterization; finite element modelling
AbstractThis article presents a systematic and logical study of the topology optimized design, microfabrication, and static/dynamic performance characterization of an electro-thermo-mechanical microgripper. The microgripper is designed using a topology optimization algorithm based on a spatial filtering technique and considering different penalization coefficients for different material properties during the optimization cycle. The microgripper design has a symmetric monolithic 2D structure which consists of a complex combination of rigid links integrating both the actuating and gripping mechanisms. The numerical simulation is performed by studying the effects of convective heat transfer, thermal boundary conditions at the fixed anchors, and microgripper performance considering temperature-dependent and independent material properties. The microgripper is fabricated from a 25 μm thick nickel foil using laser microfabrication technology and its static/dynamic performance is experimentally evaluated. The static and dynamic electro-mechanical characteristics are analyzed as step response functions with respect to tweezing/actuating displacements, applied current/power, and actual electric resistance. A microgripper prototype having overall dimensions of 1 mm (L) × 2.5 mm (W) is able to deliver the maximum tweezing and actuating displacements of 25.5 μm and 33.2 μm along X and Y axes, respectively, under an applied power of 2.32 W. Experimental performance is compared with finite element modeling simulation results.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Industrial Materials Institute; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21274332
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Record identifiere8d49ca7-40f3-4401-a2e3-2f38a2287eb5
Record created2015-03-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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