To develop actuated 2-axis micromirrors and walking microrobots using a pick-and-place assembly process. Simple fabrication processes have a high fabrication yield and quicker design cycles than complex processes. The quest to minimize process complexity has led us to a single-mask Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) using Silicon on Insulator (SOI) wafers. After release, these parts are broken free from the device layer of the SOI wafer using grippers fabricated in the same single-mask process, rotated 90 degrees out-of-plane, and then assembled with other parts (figure 1). With this approach, we can create complex electro-mechanical devices both in the plane of the substrate and orthogonal to it. The design freedom associated with assembling entire mechanisms out of plane expands the design space accessible using simple SOI-based processes. It also enables rotational and vertical-plane motion not possible using only in-plane structures.
Project end date: 07/30/06