MEMS-fabricated ICPF microactuators for biological manipulation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)22_Publication in policy or professional journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-337
Journal / PublicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


TitlePROCEEDINGS OF SPIE SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering: Smart Structures and Materials 2003 Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
PlaceUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period3 - 6 March 2003


Ionic Conducting Polymer Film (ICPF) micro grippers with multi-finger configurations were developed using spin-on Nafion and photolithographic technology. A commercial solution from Dupont Co. (Nafion SE-5012) was used to prepare ∼0.2μm thick ionic conducting polymer film. Micro cantilever structures were fabricated which composed of Au/Nafion/Au film layers. Grippers with 2-finger and 4-finger configurations were successfully developed. We have proved that the 2-fingered grippers can be actuated in water at ∼5V DC voltages. The smallest 4-fingered grippers fabricated were 30μm wide, 300μm long and 0.4μm thick for each finger. In addition, another interesting actuation behavior of the micro actuator was observed during fabrication. The actuators would curl up whenever they came in contact with water during the sacrificial release process. The curling process reversed instantaneously when the actuators are immersed in acid. We suggest that this phenomenon is probably due to the different volume expansions of Nafion in different medium. Besides, the current-voltage property was measured. We are further studying the consistency of their behaviors to modify the design and fabrication process for potential use in biological manipulations.

Research Area(s)

  • Biological micromanipulation, Ionic conducting polymer film (ICPF), Polymer micro actuator