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Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 200;

Electrothermal Actuators for SiO2 Photonic MEMS

Precision and Microsystems Engineering (PME), Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
Current address: Bright Society, High Tech Campus 68, 5656 AG Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hiroshi Toshiyoshi
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 7 November 2016
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This paper describes the design, fabrication and characterization of electrothermal bimorph actuators consisting of polysilicon on top of thick (>10 μ m ) silicon dioxide beams. This material platform enables the integration of actuators with photonic waveguides, producing mechanically-flexible photonic waveguide structures that are positionable. These structures are explored as part of a novel concept for highly automated, sub-micrometer precision chip-to-chip alignment. In order to prevent residual stress-induced fracturing that is associated with the release of thick oxide structures from a silicon substrate, a special reinforcement method is applied to create suspended silicon dioxide beam structures. The characterization includes measurements of the post-release deformation (i.e., without actuation), as well as the deflection resulting from quasi-static and dynamic actuation. The post-release deformation reveals a curvature, resulting in the free ends of 800 μ m long silicon dioxide beams with 5 μ m-thick polysilicon to be situated approximately 80 μ m above the chip surface. Bimorph actuators that are 800 μ m in length produce an out-of-plane deflection of approximately 11 μ m at 60 mW dissipated power, corresponding to an estimated 240 C actuator temperature. The delivered actuation force of the 800 μ m-long bimorph actuators having 5 μ m-thick polysilicon is calculated to be approximately 750 μN at 120 mW . View Full-Text
Keywords: bimorph actuator; photonic waveguide; silicon reinforcement; curvature; deflection; bending stiffness; transient response bimorph actuator; photonic waveguide; silicon reinforcement; curvature; deflection; bending stiffness; transient response

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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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Peters, T.-J.; Tichem, M. Electrothermal Actuators for SiO2 Photonic MEMS. Micromachines 2016, 7, 200.

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