An electro-thermal micro-actuator based on polymer composite for application to dual-stage positioning systems of hard disk drives

J. P. Yang*, Gih Keong Lau, C. P. Tan, N. B. Chong, B. Thubthimthong, Z. M. He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents an electro-thermal micro-actuator based on polymer composite for dual-stage head positioning systems in hard disk drives (HDDs). This micro-actuator has a pair of benders, which are made of silicon-polymer composite. When electro-thermally activated by resistive heating, the composite expands and consequently the benders produce a lateral bending motion to drive a femto slider, which carries a magnetic read/write head. The micro-actuator has been fabricated by deep silicon etching and polymer patterning. Experiment shows that the micro-actuator can drive up to 35 nm peak-to-peak displacement when it is activated by a 3.25 V half-sine input voltage at 500 Hz under a moderate temperature rise. The first in-plane mechanical resonant frequency is measured to occur at 36.8 kHz. Analytical and finite element models were developed to simulate the micro-actuator performance. It is noted that the simulation results agree well with the experimental measurement. With good performance, the electro-thermal micro-actuator are useful for high bandwidth dual-stage positioning systems in future high-density HDDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Volume187
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Dual-stage positioning
  • Hard disk drive
  • MEMS
  • Thermal micro-actuator

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