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Multi-stage, multi-stable actuator system with adjustable hub, range and power based on cooperative electrostatic actuators

Electrostatic actuators can achieve with very small electrode spacing, very high energy density and power, although limited to short distances. Macro-requirements, large cm-range distances and N-range power, are realised with so-called inch-worm motors. Here Klemm- and feed actuators from piezo components which work cooperatively, create a forward feed of cm at high power. However, these actuators are relatively large and cannot be produced using monolithic micro-manufacturing.

The goal of the project is therefore to realise inch-worm drive which combines high power and feed, and which can be manufactured in the traditional way using Si microtechnology, i.e. can be miniaturised, through the coupling of several electrostatic actuators working in cooperation with each other. The following will be investigated, for example:

  • how many individual actuators can be interconnected with a stable complete system
  • where the technological limits of miniaturisation and realisation of the individual actuactors using standard micro- and nanotechnology procedures lie
  • the mechanical and electrical system behaviour of a complete system composed of a multi-stage, multi-stable micro-actuators
  • whether, besides homogenous systems (all actuators electrostatic), all hetergeneous system architectures (e.g. combination of electrostatic and piezo-electric actuators) are possible

Thus the project will contribute to a better understanding of the principles, limits and framework conditions in the realisation of microsystems engineering actuator systems which consist of multi-stage, multi-stable and cooperative electrostatic actuators.

Project partner

Furtwangen University



Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Project number 402743889.

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