alexa Monolithic fabrication of multilayer P(VDF-TrFE) cantilevers


Advances in Cancer Prevention

Author(s): Stefan Johansson

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When operating a piezoelectric actuator the use of multilayers has for a long time proven to be a good solution to maintain a high electric field at a reduced applied voltage. The piezoelectric copolymer polyvinylidene-trifluoroethylene P(VDF-TrFE) has rather low piezoelectric constant compared to piezoceramics but it can withstand much higher electric fields. As the copolymer can be spin coated the individual layer thickness of the multilayer can easily be reduced to a few μm and rather large strains can be achieved at a moderate voltage. Here a monolithic fabrication technique for producing P(VDF-TrFE) actuators, without any lamination or adhesive layers, is presented. To fabricate the multilayer successive spin coating of the piezoelectric polymer polyvinylidene-trifluoroethylene P(VDF-TrFE) and electrode evaporation on a substrate was performed. Four different substrate materials were coated with a multilayer stack of 6 active P(VDF-TrFE) layers and 7 aluminum electrodes. The monolithic multilayer structures with patterned electrodes were diced by a cutting saw to produce unimorph cantilevers. No delamination or dissolution could be observed between adjacent copolymer layers. The cantilevers were evaluated in terms of static and resonant deflection and the Q-factor was estimated from the frequency spectra. A discussion regarding the influence of the Q-factor on the fabrication process tolerance is given. The different substrate materials used was stainless steel, flexible printed circuit board (FPC), polycarbonate and aluminum. The Q-factor varied from 30 for the polycarbonate to 83 for the stainless steel. These results provide guidelines for the material choices of a forthcoming locomotion module to be used in the 3mm×3mm×3mm I-SWARM robots. The FPC substrate showed to have the best compatibility to the fabrication processes and the most suitable Q-value of 42. This together with the high deflections makes the FPC the preferred substrate materials the future actuators for the I-SWARM locomotion module.
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This article was published in Sensors and Actuators A Physical and referenced in Advances in Cancer Prevention

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