Multi-axis actuators are demanded in a variety of applications, such as precision positioning in advanced manufacturing, manipulation in biomedical micro-robotics, vibration damping for image stabilization or disk-drive protection, and micro mirrors for projection displays. However, it is highly challenging to obtain both tilting and translational motions in all three spacial dimensions while using planar micro-fabrication methods. Up to date, there have been only three studies that reported 6-DOF platforms, which were still limited in performance due to small actuation range and high power consumption. In this study, we designed 3-DOF and 6-DOF motion stages with a new actuation mechanism based on distributed electrode excitation of piezoelectric T-beam unimorphs. Compared to previous 6-axis micro actuators, the fabricated device provides >2x displacement (10-20 μm, 1-2°) with a similar operation bandwidth (~1 kHz), while consuming 1000x less power (250 μW) in a smaller device volume (3×3 mm2).
E. E. Aktakka, R. L. Peterson, K. Najafi, “A 6-DOF piezoelectric micro vibratory stage based on multi-axis distributed-electrode excitation of PZT/Si unimorph T-beams,” 17th Int. Conf. on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems (Transducers’13), pp. 1583-1586, June 2013. [PDF]
E. E. Aktakka, R. L. Peterson, K. Najafi, “A 3-DOF piezoelectric micro vibratory stage based on bulk-PZT/Silicon crab-leg suspensions” 26th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS’13), Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 576-579, Jan. 2013. [PDF]