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Metallic glass as a mechanical material for microscanners

: Lin, Y.C.; Tsai, Y.C.; Ono, T.; Liu, P.; Esashi, M.; Gessner, T.; Chen, M.W.


Advanced Functional Materials 25 (2015), Nr.35, S.5677-5682
ISSN: 1616-301X
ISSN: 1616-3028
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) actuators essentially have movable silicon structures where the mechanical motion can be activated electronically. The microscanner is one of the most successfully commercialized MEMS devices which are widely used for collecting optical information, manipulating light, and displaying images. While silicon is abundant, it is also brittle and stiff and when microprocessed, defects are not uncommon. These defects result in weakness under torsional stress and this has been the key factor limiting the scanning performance of the microscanner. Here a metallic glass (MG)-based microscanner is reported with MG as the material for the moving torsion bars. The low elastic modulus, high fracture toughness, and high strength of MG offers, for the first time, an ultralarge rotating angle of 146 degrees with power consumption lowered to the microwatt range, and a smaller driving force and better actuation performance, than conventional single crystal silicon and polycrystalline silicon. The high spatial resolution and large scanning field of the MG-based microscanner are demonstrated in the tomographic imaging of a human finger. This development of an MG-based MEMS possibly opens a new field of low-powered MEMS devices with extreme actuation and enhanced sensing.