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Actuators 2018, 7(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7020017

Levitating Micro-Actuators: A Review

1
The Institute of Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
2
Voxalytic GmbH, Rosengarten 3, 76228 Karlsruhe, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract

Through remote forces, levitating micro-actuators completely eliminate mechanical attachment between the stationary and moving parts of a micro-actuator, thus providing a fundamental solution to overcoming the domination of friction over inertial forces at the micro-scale. Eliminating the usual mechanical constraints promises micro-actuators with increased operational capabilities and low dissipation energy. Further reduction of friction and hence dissipation by means of vacuum leads to dramatic increases of performance when compared to mechanically tethered counterparts. In order to efficiently employ the benefits provided by levitation, micro-actuators are classified according to their physical principles as well as by their combinations. Different operating principles, structures, materials and fabrication methods are considered. A detailed analysis of the significant achievements in the technology of micro-optics, micro-magnets and micro-coil fabrication, along with the development of new magnetic materials during recent decades, which has driven the creation of new application domains for levitating micro-actuators is performed. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; micro-systems; micro-actuators; electric levitation; optical levitation; magnetic levitation; diamagnetic levitation; superconducting levitation; hybrid levitation MEMS; micro-systems; micro-actuators; electric levitation; optical levitation; magnetic levitation; diamagnetic levitation; superconducting levitation; hybrid levitation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Poletkin, K.V.; Asadollahbaik, A.; Kampmann, R.; Korvink, J.G. Levitating Micro-Actuators: A Review. Actuators 2018, 7, 17.

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