Thermally Controlled Magnetization Actuator for Microrelays

Etsu HASHIMOTO  Hidenao TANAKA  Yoshio SUZUKI  Yuji UENISHI  Akinori WATABE  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E80-C   No.2   pp.239-245
Publication Date: 1997/02/25
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Micromachine Technology)
Category: Actuator
Keyword: 
relay,  latching,  magnetization,  electroplating,  

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Summary: 
A thermally controlled magnetization actuator (TCMA) is proposed for micro-mechanical relays. It is actuated by changing the local magnetization of the structure by remote heating using a laser beam. It is fabricated by nickel surface micromachining (a fabrication technique using nickel electroplating). The optical power of the laser diode used to drive the TCMA is about 30 mW. The switching time of the microrelay was experimentally measured to be 10 ms, the same as that of a conventional mechanical relay. The contact force was calculated to be 20 µN, which can be improved by increasing the size of the TCMA.