Theoretical examination of MEMS microactuator responses with an emphasis on materials and fabrication

D. E. Glumac, T. G. Cooney, L. F. Francis, W. P. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A free standing cantilever beam consisting of a support structural material (polysilicon/silicon nitride), a piezoelectric PZT ceramic layer, and metal electrode layers has been analyzed. Beam theory and finite element analysis were used to model the electric field induced deflections of this structure, and provided information as to how material choices influenced actuator function. Both support material and PZT thicknesses varied from 0-1.0 μm, and bulk piezoelectric coefficients and elastic moduli were assumed. The beam theory uses known (or assumed) material properties to predict actuator responses. Conversely, if device responses can be measured, material properties may be inferred from the theory. For a PZT thickness of 0.3 μm, a core layer thickness of 0.13 μm was found to maximize displacement. Also, the force output was found to be more dependent on the core thickness than that of the PZT. This information can then be used to predict the response of a more complex microactuator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the 1994 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Nov 28 1994Nov 30 1994


Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical examination of MEMS microactuator responses with an emphasis on materials and fabrication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this