Sensors and Actuators A, Physical vol:164 issue:1-2 pages:148-153
An innovative parallel gap bistable switch is demonstrated, based on a nickel-plating process with a polymer mold. It combines two different actuator mechanisms to yield extremely low steady state power consumption: thermal actuation is used for the stroke movement, whereas electrostatic actuation is used to latch the on state. This makes it useful for low-power applications where continuous thermal drive is not possible. Strokes of 20 μm can be achieved, with thermal actuation power of 1 W during the switching movement. In a second stage, the position can be electrostatically held with a voltage of 15 V, requiring no further power. The actuator's size is approximately 1.5 mm^2.