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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Microactuators
Introduction to Micro System Technology
Lecture 6
Quan Zhou
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 2
Outline
Definitions
Performance measures
Basic actuator technologies
piezoelectric
electrostatic
shape memory alloys
electromagnetic
EMFi
MSM
other actuators
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 3
Microactuators
Actuator
A device that transforms energy into controllable motion
Performs useful work on the environment in response to a control signal
Definition by the lecture text book
microactuator is a device of a few micrometers to few centimeters in size
having a functional principle applicable in the microworld.
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 4
Performance Measures
Linearity
Accuracy
Precision
Resolution
Repeatability
Sensitivity
Speed
Hysteresis
Span
Scaling
Power efficiency
Drift
Threshold
Step response
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 5
Linearity
Linearity
Refers to the linearity of the output as a
function of its input
Maximum difference between a
reference linear line and the actuator
output
Expressed as a percent of full-scale
output
Reference line: best-fit line or line based
on terminal points
Repeatability
Deviation of output over cycles of
operation
Maximum different between the output
value at the same input value
R = max(Y
i
(X) - Y
k
(X))
Control V
-6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
la
s
e
r
Control V
-6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
la
s
e
r
-6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
la
s
e
r
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 6
Precision, Accuracy, Resolution
Precision
how exactly and reproducibly a
desired actuation is executed
Accuracy
the difference between actual
motion and target motion.

a
(%) = (Y
a
- Y
t
) / Y
t

FSO
(%) = (Y
a
- Y
t
) / Y
FSO

FSO| <= |

a|
FSO = Full Scale Output
Resolution
smallest increment in input that
results in detectable actuation
Smallest Inducible Output
smallest step that can be detected
Precision
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 7
Span, Sensitivity, Speed, Drift
Span
full-scale operating range of the actuator output
Sensitivity
the ratio of the actuator output to an incremental change in its input
is a function of temperature, etc, usually not linear
Speed
the speed at which the actuator output can be changed
Drift
change in actuator output with time, temperature, etc
Y X
X Y S =
dt dY v =
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 8
Hysteresis, Threshold, Backlash, Noise
Hysteresis
the difference in the actuator output
Y when Y is reached from two
opposite directions
Threshold
starting from zero input, the
smallest initial increment in the
input that results in detectable
actuator output (a in figure)
Backlash
Lost motion after reversing
direction (b).
Noise
fluctuations in the output with zero
input
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 9
Hysteresis and drift
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 10
Load-Bearing Capability and Stiffness
Load changes the behavior of the actuator
force - displacement curve gives the static behavior
F
o
r
c
e

(
N
)
Displacement (um)
Load line
Actuator F-X
0 1 2 3 4
2
4
6
8
10
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 11
Step Response
The actuator output does not change abruptly in response to a step input
transient behavior
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 12
Scaling
Scaling
to evaluate how different actuation methods scale, a scalability measure
has been introduced
is power efficiency and V is volume
power efficiency:
) / ( dV d Sc =

in out
P P /
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 13
Mini and micro actuators
The selection of the most suitable actuation principle depends on
many factors, such as
required forces
amount of motion needed
accuracy
size requirements
speed
...
No ideal motion principle
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 14
Classification
of Actuators
Classification based on the
type of input energy
electrical
fluidic
thermal
chemical
optical
acoustic
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 15
Actuation Types
This lecture
Piezoelectric actuators
Shape Memory alloy
Electrostatic actuators
Electromagnetic actuators
EMFi
MSM
other actuators
Not covered
Optical actuators
Chemical actuators
Acoustic actuators
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 16
Linear Motion Miniature Actuators
few linear actuators that have small size, high resolution and long
total displacement at the same time
small size long total displacement
commercial products compete with precision or resolution
Most commercial applications today are based on electromagnetic or
piezoelectric principles
Research mostly prefers micro- and nano actuators
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 17
Piezoelectric effect
Some crystals develop an electrical charge when exposed to mechanical stress
Conversely, the application of an electric field to a piezoelectric crystal leads to a
physical deformation
Piezo elements by PI
Piezoelectric buzzers
in alarm devices
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 18
Piezoelectric effect ...
First discovered by Curie brothers in 1880
First applications with natural single crystals in
1920s
e.g. quartz
In the 1950s piezoelectric ceramics
(e.g. lead zirconate titanate, PZT)
Piezoelectric polymers (e.g. PVDF)
Piezoelectric ceramics must undergo a
polarizing process for the piezoelectric
phenomenon to occur
Crystal structure must be asymmetric
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 19
Piezoelectric elementary cells
Above Curie temperature Below Curie temperature
PbZrO
3
-PbTiO
3
PZT
Ti/Zr ion has six
equivalent
positions in
potential energy
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 20
Piezoelectric ceramics...
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 21
Piezoelectric ceramics
As macroscopic point of view, molecular dipoles align within small areas forming
large dipole moments
The domains are randomly oriented and therefore the net external electric dipole is
zero
If material is subjected to large electric field, the domain dipoles within a gain align
in the direction closest to the field (poling)
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 22
Piezoelectricity models (micro)
Direct effect
Inverse effect
i = 1,2,3 indices of components of
polarization
k = 16 of mechanical stress and
strain
S
k
is strain (relative displacement) tensor
d
ik
is a matrix of piezoelectric constants, m/V
E
i
is the electric field vector, V/m
s
E
is the elastic compliance matrix when
subjected to a constant electric field, m
2
/N
T
i
is stress (force/unit area) tensor, N/m
2
D
i
is electric displacement vector, C/m
2

ik
is the permittivity measured at constant
stress, As/Vm
i
T
ik k ik i
E d D + = T
i ik k
E
k
E d T s S
ik
+ =
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Table of Contents, Slide 23
Piezoelectricity models...
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Table of Contents, Slide 24
Piezoelectricity models (macro)
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Table of Contents, Slide 25
Preloaded piezoelectric actuator model
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Table of Contents, Slide 26
Temperature dependency of the piezo effect
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Table of Contents, Slide 27
Piezoelectric actuators
An electric field acting on a piezoelectric ceramic leads to a physical
deformation of the ceramic
PZT ceramic is widely used
High-voltage (1000 V) and low-voltage piezo actuators (100 - 200 V)
Designs:
stacks
tubes,
bimorphs
hybrid
rotational motors
stepping motors
Physik Instrumente
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Table of Contents, Slide 28
Piezo ceramic properties
General properties
Fast (kHz)
High force (MPa)
High resolution (subnanometer)
Good efficiency
power losses nearly zero at static
case
Small strain (~0.1-0.2 %)
High voltage (60-1000 V)
Large hysteresis (15-30%)
Drift
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 29
Piezoelectric Stack Actuators
Ceramic and metallic plates stacked
one after another to increase the
maximum displacement
Many products commercially
available
Advantages:
good resolution
high speed
high output force
low power consumption
Disadvantages:
small total strain
hysteresis
drift
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 30
Examples of Piezo Stacks
Piezo systems Inc
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 31
Piezoelectric Bimorph Actuators
Bending actuator (bimorph)
Two piezo layers with opposite
polarization connected together
Resembles bimetal structure
While one piezo layer expands,
the other contracts, the net
motion is greater than the
actual strain of the material
Good displacement
Weaker force, slower than e.g.
stack
Benders can also have one
piezo layer, where the piezo
layer attached to a metal is
bending the structure
Cantilever design
S-beam design
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 32
Example of Piezo benders
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Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 33
Piezo tube actuator
Operate on the transversal piezo
effect.
Can operate in all three axis
Small displacement
Relative small force
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Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 34
Example of tube actuator
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 35
Magnification of displacement
of piezo actuators
Lever systems
lever arms of dissimilar lengths
Hydraulic systems
piston and bore assemblies
Composite systems
combine several basic designs
Ultrasonic motors
Stepper systems
several small steps
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Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 36
Piezoelectric motors
Small periodical movements summarize to a greater motion
Both rotational and linear motors
Vibration-based motors (Ultrasonic and sonic)
standing wave
traveling wave
Inchworm motors
Inertia based motors
Properties
The hysteresis and drift become insignificant
High resolution
Large travel / motion range
Gearless, simple mechanical structure
Friction based, therefore load affects step length and this leads to
inaccuracy in open loop systems
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Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 37
Ultrasonic motors
Work in the ultrasonic range (40 - 45 kHz) i.e. above 20 kHz and are
therefore inaudible to the human ear
developed in 1980s in Japan
Standing wave ultrasonic motors
Standing wave produces also lateral motion vector through extensions on
the surface
Ultrasonic motor by University of Missouri-Rolla
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 38
Ultrasonic motors
Traveling wave ultrasonic motors
Traveling wave of the flexural vibration
is produced by applying high frequency
voltage signals with a phase difference
of 90 degrees to a piezoelectric
element.
An oval-shaped trajectory opposite to
the traveling direction of the wave is
drawn at the point that is in contact with
the moving body (rotor)
Utilized in camera auto focus, e.g. by
Canon
Ultrasonic motor by Canon
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Table of Contents, Slide 39
Piezoelectric linear motors
Piezoelectric linear steppers
Nanomotion
Physik Instrumente
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Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 40
Inchworm stepping motors
Movement along a rod by three
piezoelements
Unlimited movement
Good resolution
Internal encoders
Maximum speed 2 mm / s
Drawback: expensive
Inchworm by
Burleigh
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Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 41
Other piezoelectric steppers
Stick & slip actuators by EPFL
A piezo stepper by Klocke
Nanotechnik
utilizes a piezo tube for fine
positioning and a shock wave
produced by the same piezo
for coarse movements
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 42
Piezoelectric steppers...
Impact drive actuators
Developed by Higuchi
Utilizes static friction and impulsive
force caused by the rapid
displacement of an actuator.
When the actuator makes rapid
extension or contraction, a strong
inertial force is generated and the
main body is moved against static
friction.
When the actuator makes slow
retraction, the inertial force could
be smaller than static friction so
that the main body keeps the
position
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Table of Contents, Slide 43
Piezoelectric resonance structures
A piezoelectric layer is used to excite
a beam, diaphragm or a micro bridge
Applications
gyroscopes
microbalances
Micropumps
AFM
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Table of Contents, Slide 44
Control of piezoelectric actuators
Voltage control
Feed forward
Feed back
Charge control
Feed forward
Feed back
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Table of Contents, Slide 45
Applications of piezo actuators
Micro/nano robotics
Motion actuation
Gripper
etc
Vibration control
HUT
Newport MIT
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Table of Contents, Slide 46
Applications of piezo actuators
Consumer electronics
Camera
Inkjet print head
Buzzers/speakers
Fluidics
Active valve
Micropump
Droplet dispensers
Microdrop
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Table of Contents, Slide 47
Shape Memory Alloy
Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are metallic materials that have an
ability to remember their original shapes
Discovered in 1930s by a Swedish physicist Arne lander
Widely used Nickel-titanium (NiTi) alloys were found in the beginning
of 1960s in U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory
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Table of Contents, Slide 48
Shape memory alloys
Shape memory effect: the alloy tends
to return to its original shape
Shape is defined, stored into the
memory of the material during a
tempering process
Nickel Titanium is a widely used alloy
Large strain (5 %) compared with
piezoelectric
Disadvantage: slow speed of
response
Because of heating and cooling: the
smaller the size the faster it is
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Table of Contents, Slide 49
SMA Working Principle
Reversible, thermic-mechanical transformation of the atomic
structure of the metal at certain temperatures
Austenite form = high temperature form
Alloy above transformation temperature
Alloy returns to a desired shape (after deformation at martensite form) and
generates force/stress and a displacement
Martensite form = low temperature form
Alloy below transformation temperature
Remains in austenite form position if there is no external stress
Alloy can be deformed with an external stress
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Table of Contents, Slide 50
SMA Working Principle
S
t
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Strain
Martensite
Austenite
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Table of Contents, Slide 51
SMA Working Principle
Heating of SMA by electric current fed
through the element
Cooling with ambient material (air,
water, etc.), also additional cooling
possible
Maximum deformation 8%, usually
approx. 4%
Several alloys with different
properties
Ni-Ti alloy most common
Also Au, Cd, Cu alloys
Alloy composition affects
transformation temperatures,
hysteresis, maximum force, etc.
AMT
AMT
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Table of Contents, Slide 52
Products
Wires, springs, tubes and bars of
SMA available is several sizes and
alloy compositions
Also complete actuators available for
some applications
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Table of Contents, Slide 53
Properties of SMAs
Ni-Ti alloy has largest hysteresis
Transformation temperature can
be changed by altering the
amounts of different metals
Working stress:
40130MPa;
40130N/mm2
Superelasticity
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Table of Contents, Slide 54
Properties of SMA Actuators
Advantages
High force/weight and force/volume ratios
Large deformation
Heating by current fed through the alloy => simple
Cooling by ambient material => simple
Raw material inexpensive
Disadvantages
One wayoperation => bias force required
Heating/cooling cycles reduce band-width
Amount of cycles reduces maximal deformation
(>100 000 cycles => maximal deformation 4%)
Cycling changes the properties of the alloy (hysteresis, temperatures)
Hysteresis (1030C), nonlinearity
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Table of Contents, Slide 55
Control of SMA
Displacement control
Hysteresis, nonlinearity
No direct relationship between current/resistance/temperature/force and
deformation
On/Off control
Constant heating to maintain austenite phase
No heating at all to return to martensite form (with bias force)
Feedback control
Displacement measurement needed if accurate or fast changes required
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 56
Application of SMA
Medical
Microsurgical instruments, stents
Aerospace
Connectors, lock rings
Automotive
Ni-Ti thermostat
Industrial
Valves, pipe connectors
Consumer
Eyeglass frames
Safety
Fire safety valves
A NiTi spring in coffeepots marketed by
Carioca in Japan is trained to open a valve
and release hot water at the proper
temperature to brew a perfect pot of coffee.
SEM of deflectable NiTi
microscissors. The
entire scissors structure
is made of a thin NiTi
wire. (University of
Karlsruhe)
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 57
Electrostatic actuators
2
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The attractive force between two
conductive plates with unlike charges
(Coulombic force)
Most electrostatic actuators are still at
research level and in micro size
Advantages
Scaling-down is beneficial
Easy to miniaturize
Disadvantages
A dust particle and surface defects
can cause a breakdown due to a
small air gap
High voltages
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 58
Electrostatic actuators, linear motion
Structures for linear motion
Plate and membrane structures
Comb structures (normal force)
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 59
Electrostatic actuators, rotational
Structures
Comb structures (tangential force)
Wobble motor
Torque has been small
Lifetime has been short due to
friction
Electrostatic motor
by LAAS, France
Wobble motor:
Rotor that is located inside a stator forms the axis
of the motor
- electric field moves the rotor inside the stator
- friction rotates rotor
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 60
Rotational Microactuators
Micromotors
Electromagnetic mini and
micromotors
Elecrostatic motors
Piezoelectric motors
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 61
Electromagnetic Mini Motors
Principle utilised frequently in the
macro world
Commercial miniaturised motors
reduces in dimensions, for example
3 mm, L 10 mm
Miniaturized solutions often
brushless DC motors
Torque still question mark
C.I. Kasei
Smoovy
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 62
Electromagnetic Mini Motors, Linear
Motion is transferred to linear by
combinations of screws and nuts, ball
bearings or roller screws
Linear stepper motor: through a
threaded nut and leadscrew
Linear stepper
by HSI
Smoovy
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 63
Electromagnetic Micro Motors
Problems
difficult to miniaturize (not
compatible with IC production
technologies)
complex
scaling not advantageous
inefficient
Benefits
high power output can be achieved
insensitive to gap contamination
drives need only low voltages
reliable
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 64
Linear stepper motors
Linear stepper motors operate in a
straight line on a fixed base
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 65
Voice coil actuators
Based on the Lorentz force
Use permanent magnets
Nanometer resolutions are possible
Drawbacks
can generate heat
Applications
positioners in computer disk drive
heads and in mirror systems
Micropositioning (with compliant
mechanics)
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 66
EMFi film structure
A VTT invention
The ElectroMechanical Film is a
thin,biaxially oriented polypropylene
film that can be used as an electret
inner layer polypropylene (PP)
surface layers conductive
total thickness 3070 m
elastic due to the voids capturing
air in the film
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 67
EMFi working principle
A simplified single air-
gap model
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 68
EMFi advantages
low costs
low volume, approximately 50 m thickness
inexpensive materials, polypropylene and aluminum
high sensitivity
light weight
low volume
air gaps
easy to cut
flexible, covers round and concave surfaces
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 69
Applications of EMFi
Microphone
Noise reduction
Keyboard
EMFi floor
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 70
Magnetic Shape Memory (MSM) Effect
A form of the material stored into the
memory
Material is deformed using magnetic field
Product of a Finnish company Adaptamat,
Properties
Strain several %s (up to 10 %)
Displacements in milliseconds
Large output forces (hundreds of
N/mm2)
Drift, hysteresis
MSM consists of internal areas, twin
variants, which have different magnetic
and crystallographic orientations
Applying the magnetic field H to the single
variant material causes the other twin
variant to appear and grow
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 71
Electrostrictive actuators
Deformation of the material in an
electric field
Crystal stack design & polymers
Electrostrictive crystals are not poled
The strain is in the same order as
piezoelectric
Provide better characteristics of creep
compared to piezos
Drawback: strain sensitivity to
temperature
Show higher capacitance
Commercial actuators exist
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Control Engineering Laboratory
Table of Contents, Slide 72
Magnetostrictive actuators
Magnetostrictive effect
ferromagnetic crystal changes its
shape when subjected to a
magnetic field
Terfenol-D has been the most widely
used
Typically a magnetostrictive rod
placed inside a coil
Large output forces and quick
dynamic responses
Disadvantage
small displacements
Applications
Active noise & vibration control
Etrema
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HELSINKI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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Table of Contents, Slide 73
Other actuators and phenomenon
Hydraulic actuators
Large in size and high output forces
Can have zero friction and nearly backlash free power transmission
Piston, rod systems, metallic bellows and rubber components
Electrorheological fluid :
The form of it changes when it is placed in an electric field
Consist of micro-sized particles suspended in a dielectric liquid
Simple structure - only fluid and electrodes are needed
Drawbacks: weakness as solids and chemical instability
Magnetorheological fluids:
The flow rate is controlled by the strength of a magnetic field otherwise similar to
electrorheological fluid