Electrolysis-based diaphragm actuators.

Research paper by C C Pang, Y-C YC Tai, J W JW Burdick, R A RA Andersen

Indexed on: 28 Feb '06Published on: 28 Feb '06Published in: Nanotechnology


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.