High-frequency electric suspension

High-frequency electric suspension

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Research and development programmes directed towards the evolution of micromachines, such as electrostatic micromotors and fluidically driven micro-pumps, having dimensions in the sub-millimetre range when embedded within a planar substrate, have been growing rapidly and vigorously over the past 20 or so years. During the 1990s, major advances were made in the miniaturisation of electromechanical devices through the adoption of planar silicon technology as used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. This technology was commonly referred to as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMSs). At first sight, it may seem irrational to pursue energy efficiency in devices that are so small that the powers involved are measured in milliwatts but in fact as a proportion of useful output the losses at the MEMS scale can be massive. In particular, the frictional problems associated with bearings, and the losses generated are much more severe than in their macro-scale counterparts. The frictional (in relative terms) force associated with a micro-sized moving part or micro-bearing can actually become more than the motive force developed by the machine [1-3], in which case the device is useless. Because of this gross inefficiency, the accumulated losses in millions of micro-machines, in millions of watches, for example, is by no means insignificant, thus needlessly wasting an awful lot of energy. Energy is predicted to become increasingly scarce this century, so even micro-device efficiency may be critical to the maintenance of an advanced civilisation.

Chapter Contents:

  • 8.1 High-frequency stabilisation
  • 8.1.1 Detuned LC circuit stabilisation
  • 8.1.2 Circuit resonance
  • 8.1.3 Float dynamics
  • 8.2 Electromagnetic pressure in cavity resonator
  • 8.2.1 TE101 mode resonator
  • 8.2.2 Forces on wall of cavity
  • 8.2.3 Application to micro-actuators
  • 8.3 Evolution of re-entrant cavity levitator
  • 8.3.1 Figure of merit for cavity resonator
  • 8.3.2 Levitation using detuned re-entrant cavity resonator
  • 8.3.3 Force measurements
  • 8.4 Summary
  • 8.5 References

Inspec keywords: research and development; micromechanical devices; magnetic levitation; magnetic fluids; electric fields

Other keywords: micropumps; frictional problems; electromechanical devices; research and development programmes; microdevice efficiency; electrostatic micromotors; macroscale counterparts; microelectromechanical systems; high-frequency electric suspension; micromachines; MEMS

Subjects: MEMS and NEMS device technology; Micromechanics (mechanical engineering); Magnetic materials

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