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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Researchers actively develop tantalum actuators and sensors

Researchers actively develop tantalum actuators and sensors

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:24

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) thermal actuators are widely used in computer disk drives, scanning probes, and micro engines. These thermal actuators rely on polycrystalline silicon, which requires high temperatures and consumes a large amount of electricity during the manufacturing process. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Engineering have found an alternative to manufacturing micro electric actuators using tantalum. This not only lowers the operating temperature, but also reduces the energy consumption required for driving. The research results are published in the journal Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering.

Tantalum is a rare and refractory metal commonly used in alloys to increase strength and durability. Researchers infer that tantalum thermal actuators have a higher coefficient of thermal expansion compared to silicon substrates, requiring half less power than polycrystalline silicon under the same force and displacement. The working voltage of tantalum actuators is lower than other thermal actuators and is directly compatible with complementary metal oxide semiconductor circuits. Tantalum devices can be processed almost at room temperature.