Fall 2010 IAB
September 15 to 17

Plenary 3: Dr. Mei-Lin Chan

Liquid Bearing Electrostatic Micromotors

We will show a free, unteethered micro-rotary platform based on liquid bearing support. The liquid bearing is essentially a small volume of fluid confined between the rotor and stator through Teflon surface coatings. These bearings have the distinct advantage of being minimally affected by wear and capable of supporting both static and shock loads with reduced mechanical vibrations. The rotor is actuated through three phase electrostatic driving by etching notches in the perimeter of the silicon rotor and depositing metal electrodes onto the glass stator substrate. This approach makes use of the increased rotor-stator capacitance due to the high dielectric constant liquids for improved torque generation; at the same time allows for precision rotation measurement using integrated capacitive position sensing.