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Micro-electromechanical actuator with control logic circuitry

Image Number 16 for United States Patent #7028474.

A micro-electromechanical actuator includes a substrate. An elongate actuator arm has a fixed end portion that is fast with the substrate and a free end portion that is spaced from the substrate. The elongate actuator arm incorporates a heating circuit that is connectable to a power supply to heat the actuator arm. At least a portion of the actuator arm is of a material having a coefficient of thermal expansion which is such that the material is capable of thermal expansion to do work. The heating circuit is positioned to generate differential thermal expansion and contraction when heated and subsequently cooled to cause reciprocal displacement of the free end portion of the actuator arm. Control logic circuitry is positioned on the substrate along an elongate region defined on the substrate and interposed between the actuator arm and the substrate. The control logic circuitry is connected to the heating circuit to enable and disable the power supply according to a control signal received by the control logic circuitry.

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