Design of Contoured Thermomechanical Actuators and Pulsing Actuation to Enhance Dynamic Performance


This paper presents the concepts, models, and experimental validations of the geometric contouring method and a pulsing technique to enhance dynamic performance of micro thermomechanical actuators $(muhbox{TMAs})$. For a typical TMA, contouring may improve its stroke, force, and speed performances by a factor of 4, 2.5, and 10, respectively. In the meantime, the required power for achieving the same performance is reduced by 40%. Herein, we show the following: 1) how to obtain marked dynamic and static performance from $muhbox{TMAs}$; 2) how to model and optimize these improvements; and 3) how to use transient electrical command signals to augment these improvements. The utility and practical implementation of these techniques are illustrated via a case study on a stage from a three-axis optical scanner for a two-photon endomicroscope.$hfill$[2011-0139]

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