Optoelectronics Letters. March 2008, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p89, 3 p.
Coriolis force -- Measurement, Phototropism -- Research, Phototropism -- Methods, Infrared radiation -- Optical properties, Infrared radiation -- Usage, and Microelectromechanical systems -- Evaluation
A novel photothermal drive method was proposed. A novel photothermal micro-actuator (PTA) was developed with this method. We introduced the deflection mechanism of the asymmetric expansive arms with different widths. When a beam of infrared laser irradiates the arms, the different increase temperature and photothermal expansion controlled by the different rates of specific surface area cause a magnified lateral deflection. A prototyping micro-actuator of 1000 um length was manufactured by using an excimer laser micromachining system, and using polypropylene material. Experiments have been carried out to check the feasibility of deflection, with a laser diode (650 nm) as the external power source to activate the micro-actuator. The results show that the actuator can practically generate an obvious lateral deflection without considering the size or the location of the irradiated light spot strictly. The deflection status of the micro-actuator could be controlled remotely from 0 um to 14.33 um by changing the laser power from 0 mW to 10 mW. This kind of novel PTA is quite simple and convenient for operation. It will be quite useful for the applications in the fields of micro/nano-technology and with large displacement/actuation force and remote controlling.