2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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Clean Technology 2008

Acoustic Casimir forces for MEMS actuation

R. Esquivel-Sirvent, L. Reyes Galindo
Instituto de Fisica, UNiversidad Nacional Autonoma de MExico, MX

MEMS, stability, Casimir

In this work we present a possible application of Acoustic Casimir forces (ACF) in MEMS actuation. The acoustic Casimir force is a classical analog of the quantum dispersive force (Casimir-van der Waals force) that results from quantum vacuum fluctuations. The ACF can be generated by a random acoustic field (white noise) with a specific band width. Unlike the quantum case that is always attractive, the acoustic force changes sign depending on the separation between the moving elements of a MEM device and the frequency content of the acoustic noise. A simple application of the ACF is presented using a simple MEM device consisting of a fixed plate and a moving micro membrane strip with one degree of freedom. The result shows an actuation comparable to that obtained in electrostatic MEMS but with the possibility of increasing the traveling range and stability of the device. Finally, the possibility of using existing sub-tera Hertz acoustic generators as actuators is discussed.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract