M.S. Thesis Presentation by Brian English
Monday, July 1, 2002

(Drs. Marc Allen and Ari Glezer, co-advisors)

"Laminated-based Microactuators"


A proposal is presented detailing plans for research and development of lamination based microactuators. Lamination is presented as an alternative method of thin film processing in micromachining, and the laminated devices presented are based on previously demonstrated silicon-based devices. The focus of the microactuator research is on the development of fluid microactuators with applications in aerodynamic boundary layer control, or active flow control. Work completed to date is presented, and plans are detailed for future research with lamination-based microactuators.

Four separate actuators are discussed: (1) electrostatic fluid valve, (2) gas-phased pulse combustor, (3) piezoelectric actuator, and (4) solid-phase pulse combustor. Current actuator development has focused on the electrostatic fluid valve and aerovalved pulse combustor. Completed fabrication, processing, and testing results are presented for both. Fabrication plans are presented for the piezoelectric actuator and the solid-phase pulse combustor. Future work will focus on the development of fabrication techniques for the gas-phased pulse combustor, solid-phase pulse combustor, and piezoelectric actuator. Operation of each actuator will then be verified and tested. Finally, the performance of both the solid-phase pulse combustor and the gas-phase pulse combustor will be compared with a thermodynamic model.