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Design Optimization of a Surface Micromachined Electro-Thermal Beam Flexure Polysilicon Actuator

A. Atre
Georgia Institute of Technology, US

optimization, ANSYS

Electro-thermal polysilicon actuators are widely employed in optical MEMS applications. These actuators are typically designed for maximum deflection (unloaded) or force (loaded) output characteristics. The optimal design methodology of the actuator has been investigated previously using trial and error analytical and semi-analytical methods. In this paper, design optimization of the electro-thermal actuator is attempted by a multi-variable non-linear comprehensive finite element analysis. The optimization subroutine is implemented to investigate and compare the performance of the actuator by adjusting the design variables to obtain an actuator geometry that provides optimum deflection or force output for minimal power consumption. The results reveal a significant reduction in power consumption with an increase in the maximum steady-state deflection for unloaded actuators. For loaded actuators, it is observed that the available force output is increased slightly, the steady-state deflection decreased slightly and the power consumption increased slightly. The developed analysis provides a systematic method to design the thermal actuator to meet several performance requirements.

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