Modeling, control and characterization of highly coupled, capacitively actuated micro-cantilever arrays

The starting point of this research is motivated by the potential uses of microcantilever arrays for highly parallel scanning probe microscopy and applications such as ultra high density data storage (e.g. the IBM Millipede project). There are two major issues confronting the designer of an arrayed MEMS device

We have designed, built and tested arrays of capacitively actuated microcantilevers to directly address these issues. The picture shown is representative of those arrays. They are tightly packed movable plates forming capacitors with the bottom, rigid, individually addressable plates. There's a large amount of mechanical and electrostatic coupling between neighboring plates. We are using these devices for a "proof of concept" of two new ideas that address the above two questions:

For details, see the Micro-cantilevers section of the publications page.

This project has been mostly the work of Maria Napoli and was done in collaboration with Professor Kimberly Turner, and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

[BACK TO Pictures PAGE]