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Published February 28, 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

Electrolysis-based diaphragm actuators


This work presents a new electrolysis-based microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) diaphragm actuator. Electrolysis is a technique for converting electrical energy to pneumatic energy. Theoretically electrolysis can achieve a strain of 136 000% and is capable of generating a pressure above 200 MPa. Electrolysis actuators require modest electrical power and produce minimal heat. Due to the large volume expansion obtained via electrolysis, small actuators can create a large force. Up to 100 µm of movement was achieved by a 3 mm diaphragm. The actuator operates at room temperature and has a latching and reversing capability.

Additional Information

© Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing Limited 2006. Received 25 July 2005, Published 25 January 2006, Print publication: Issue 4 (28 February 2006) We wish to acknowledge the support of the National Institutes of Health and thank Mr Trevor Roper for assistance with fabrication. SPECIAL SECTION: SELECTED PAPERS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIO-NANO-INFORMATICS FUSION (BNI FUSION 2005), MARINA DEL REY, CA. USA, 20–22 JULY 2005

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