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Monolithic micro-electro-thermal actuator integrated with a lateral displacement sensor

Monolithic micro-electro-thermal actuator integrated with a lateral displacement sensor,10.1088/0960-1317/20/8/085031,Journal of Micromechanics and Mi

Monolithic micro-electro-thermal actuator integrated with a lateral displacement sensor  
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This paper presents monolithically fabricated horizontal thermal actuators integrated with piezoresistive sensors for in situ displacement sensing. The great advantage of a hybrid system is the use of closed feedback control for improving the transient response of a thermal actuator and positioning accuracy. It consists of two 'hot arms' made of doped silicon for Joule heating-induced thermal expansion when a current flow passes through them. The piezoresistor is embedded in the base of the 'cold arm' flexure for monitoring the tip deflection and for performance characterization. This 'cold arm' is not a part of the electrical circuit, which further improves the heat power efficiency and the measurement accuracy. Optimization is achieved mainly through modification of the geometry as well as the fabrication process. The fabricated micro-electro-thermal actuator with an integrated sensor is intended for use as a scanning cantilever in atomic force microscope or as a sample holder to drive the moving object through arrays configuration.
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