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August 25, 2016 AT 11:24 am

Scanning Electron Microscope Image of an Electrostatic Actuator

Bacteria World typically have SEM images of bacteria, but here they have a rad shot of an electrostatic actuator!

electrostatic-actuator

This is an SEM photograph of a MEMS electrostatic actuator. It has an array of interdigitated posts. When a voltage is applied to the devise, an electrostatic field is produced which causes the large array of posts to move by a few microns. This small motion is amplified by the displacement amplifier seen in the center of the picture. A displacement amplifier translates the large force, small motion of the actuator to a smaller force, larger displacement motion of the output of the device. This particular device is connected to a mechanical elevator, which translates the horizontal motion of the actuator to a vertical motion of the lift mechanism. These complex microstructures are used to point microscopic mirrors. This creates microsystems capable of accurately redirecting light and optical systems. They can be used to create a new generation of telecommunication systems capable of radical improvements in the ability to route data in telecommunication systems.

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