Abstract

This study aims to develop a new fabrication process to create high-precision patterned shape memory alloy (SMA) bimorph micro-actuators by the e-beam evaporation technique. To examine the effect of the annealing process on nitinol (NiTi) thin film characteristics, the as-deposited and annealed NiTi thin films are, respectively, investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results demonstrate the crystallization of NiTi thin films after annealing at 600 °C. The transformation behaviors of NiTi thin films during heating and cooling are studied using the differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images indicate that SMA bimorph micro-actuators with high-precision features can be fabricated by the lift-off process, without any wet or dry etching procedures, and their thermomechanical behaviors are experimentally verified by comparing them with that of finite element analysis simulation results.

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