actuator produced by micromachining.(IEC/2015)
For a micromachine to perform mechanical work, the microactuator is indispensable as a basic component. Major examples are the electrostatic actuator prepared by silicon process, the piezoelectric actuator that utilizes functional materials like lead zirconate titanate (PZT), the pneumatic rubber-actuator, and so on. Many other actuators based on various energy conversion principles have been investigated and developed. However, the energy conversion efficiency of all these actuators deteriorates as their size is reduced. Therefore, the motion mechanisms of organisms such as the deformation of protein molecules, the flagellar movement of bacteria, and muscle contraction are being utilized to develop special new actuators for micromachines.
Micro-electrostatic actuators are actuated by a micro-electrostatic field, magnetic microactuators are driven by a micromagnetic field, and piezoelectric microactuators depend on a microstress field to convey motion and power.