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Characterization of Unimorph-Membrane Microactuators and Error-Analysis of the Characterization ProcessMicroactuators are versatile, low-cost, low-mass electrical-mechanical devices that can be used in many applications. Microactuators consist of two electrodes sandwiching a PZT (piezo-electric) film between them. The centers of the microactuators deflect when a voltage is applied across the electrodes. In order to correctly apply this technology for use, it is important to fully characterize the actuation behavior. Measuring the deflection profile as a function of the voltage of various microactuators is crucial. This measurement process has errors associated with it, so it is being studied to determine the accuracy of the data. In certain applications, microactuators may undergo many cycles of deflection; testing various microactuators through many cycles of deflection simulates these circumstances. However, due to an unknown issue, many of the microactuators exhibit defects that cause them to fail when voltage is applied to their electrodes. These defects do not allow for the acquisition of significant deflection profiles. Vibrations are the largest cause of error in deflection measurements, and the microactuators withstand continuous cycles of deflection, yet the cause of damage is still to be determined. Future projects will be needed to characterize the deflection profiles of various microactuators and to overcome the defects in the microactuators that are currently present.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wright, Matthew W.
(Maine Univ. ME, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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