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Published January 2001 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Flexible parylene actuator for micro adaptive flow control


This paper describes the first flexible parylene electrostatic actuator valves intended for micro adaptive flow control for the future use on the wings of micro-air-vehicle (MAV). The actuator diaphragm is made of two layers of parylene membranes with offset vent holes. Without electrostatic actuation, air can move freely from one side of the skin to the other side through the vent holes. With actuation, these vent holes are sealed and the airflow is controlled. The membrane behaves as a complete diaphragm. We have successfully demonstrated this function using a 2-mm x 2-mm parylene diaphragm electrostatic actuator valves. This work also includes the novel anti-stiction technology that is crucial to make such large-area parylene actuator diaphragm with the combined use of anti-stiction posts, self-assembled monolayers (SAM), surface roughening, and bromine trifluoride (BrFe) dry etching. With the help of SAM treatment, the operating voltage is lowered from 30 volts to 13 volts. The load deflection method is then used to measure the effective thickness of the composite diaphragm. The flexible parylene diaphragm can be deflected up to 100 μm when 150 Torr of pressure is applied. The result is fitted into a theoretical model and yields an effective thickness of 5.9 μm, which is agreeable with the actual thickness of 5.6 μm, thus proves the functionality of the device.

Additional Information

© Copyright 2001 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Meeting Date: 01/21/2001 - 01/25/2001. This work is supported under DARPA/TTO MAV program DABT63-98-C-0005. The authors would like to thank Dr. Xing Yang from Caltech for his assistance in load deflection test and Steve Ho from UCLA for his assistance in the wind tunnel testing and his contributions to the project.

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