Articles

Polysilicon thermal microactuators for heat scavenging and power conversion

[+] Author Affiliations
Jorge Varona

Centro de Investigación en Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Avenida Universidad 1001, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico 62209 and McGill University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 3480 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A-2A7

Margarita Tecpoyotl-Torres

Centro de Investigación en Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Avenida Universidad 1001, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico 62209

Anas A. Hamoui

McGill University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 3480 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A-2A7

Jesús Ecobedo-Alatorre

Centro de Investigación en Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Avenida Universidad 1001, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico 62209

Javier Sanchez-Mondragón

National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics, Luis Enrique Erro No. 1, Tonantzintla, Puebla, Mexico 72000

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 8(2), 023020 (June 05, 2009). doi:10.1117/1.3152001
History: Received January 14, 2009; Revised March 31, 2009; Accepted April 22, 2009; Published June 05, 2009
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We describe the design and experimental characterization of two optimized thermal actuators devised to operate by means of scavenging heat from the environment. Different from the traditional MEMS thermal actuator that relies on electric current to generate heat by Joule effect, the devices presented here are optimized to absorb external heat and convert it into mechanical displacement and force. The behavior of vertical and horizontal microactuators fabricated in a standard surface micromachining process (PolyMUMPs, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) demonstrates the viability of exploiting heat from the surrounding medium to realize batteryless microsystems. Analytical and finite element models are provided in support of the design. Results show that fairly large and useful displacements can be achieved at commonly available operating temperatures.

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© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Jorge Varona ; Margarita Tecpoyotl-Torres ; Anas A. Hamoui ; Jesús Ecobedo-Alatorre and Javier Sanchez-Mondragón
"Polysilicon thermal microactuators for heat scavenging and power conversion", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 8(2), 023020 (June 05, 2009). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3152001


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