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Research Papers: Mechanisms and Robotics

MEMS-Based Conjugate Surfaces Flexure Hinge

[+] Author and Article Information
Matteo Verotti

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Sapienza University of Rome,
Rome 00184, Italy
e-mail: matteo.verotti@uniroma1.it

Rocco Crescenzi

Department of Information Engineering,
Electronic and Telecommunications,
Sapienza University of Rome,
Rome 00184, Italy
e-mail: crescenzi@die.uniroma1.it

Marco Balucani

Department of Information Engineering,
Electronic and Telecommunications,
Sapienza University of Rome,
Rome 00184, Italy
e-mail: balucani@die.uniroma1.it

Nicola P. Belfiore

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Sapienza University of Rome,
Rome 00184, Italy
e-mail: belfiore@dima.uniroma1.it

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1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received April 16, 2014; final manuscript received October 5, 2014; published online November 14, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Shorya Awtar.

J. Mech. Des 137(1), 012301 (Jan 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1242; doi: 10.1115/1.4028791 History: Received April 16, 2014; Revised October 05, 2014; Online November 14, 2014

This paper presents a new concept flexure hinge for MEMS applications and reveals how to design, construct, and experimentally test. This hinge combines a curved beam, as a flexible element, and a pair of conjugate surfaces, whose contact depends on load conditions. The geometry is conceived in such a way that minimum stress conditions are maintained within the flexible beam. A comparison of the new design with the other kind of revolute and flexible joints is presented. Then, the static behavior of the hinge is analyzed by means of a theoretical approach, based on continuum mechanics, and the results are compared to those obtained by means of finite element analysis (FEA) simulation. A silicon hinge prototype is also presented and the construction process, based on single step lithography and reactive ion etching (RIE) technology, is discussed. Finally, a crucial in–SEM experiment is performed and the experimental results are interpreted through the theoretical models.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Geometry of the CSFH: configuration A (Fig. 1(a)) and configuration B (Fig. 1(b))

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Fig. 2

PVC foam board CSFH (B-type) in its neutral and deformed configurations

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Fig. 3

Deflection of a curved beam with nomenclature

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Fig. 4

Static balance and nomenclature

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Fig. 5

von Mises equivalent stress distribution (MPa)

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Fig. 6

Contact simulation: geometric parameters and load conditions

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Fig. 7

Mesh for the contact simulation

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Fig. 8

von Mises equivalent stress distribution in case of contact between the conjugate surfaces

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Fig. 9

von Mises equivalent stress distribution in case of penetration of the conjugate surfaces

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Fig. 10

Maximum values of von Mises equivalent stress in case of surfaces in contact (solid line) and in case of penetration (dotted line). The dashed-dotted line represents, for each value of the force magnitude, the maximum value of the contact pressure.

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Fig. 11

Rigid-body four-bar linkage (Fig. 11(a)) and corresponding compliant four-bar linkage designed with CSFHs (Fig. 11(b))

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Fig. 12

Displacements of the four-bar linkage under the action of a concentrated vertical force

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Fig. 13

Contact pressure within the four pairs of conjugate surfaces embedded in the four-bar linkage under the action of a concentrated vertical force

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Fig. 14

Relative sliding among the 4 pairs of conjugate surfaces embedded in the four-bar linkage under the action of a concentrated vertical force

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Fig. 15

Rigid-body six-bar Stevenson linkage (Fig. 15(a)) and corresponding compliant mechanisms designed with CSFHs (Fig. 15(b))

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Fig. 16

Rigid-body six-bar Watt linkage (Fig. 16(a)) and corresponding compliant mechanism designed with CSFHs (Fig. 16(b))

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Fig. 17

Compliant microstage and corresponding six-bar PRBM

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Fig. 18

The process phases adopted for the Si–prototypes

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Fig. 19

Two samples of silicon prototypes

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Fig. 20

A sequence of SEM image frames showing the motion of the platform due to the application of an incremental load

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Fig. 21

Video tracking performed after the SEM experiment

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Fig. 22

SEM Image of the real curved beam with stress concentrated regions

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