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Microfabricated microengine for use as a mechanical drive and power source in the microdomain and fabrication process

United States Patent

5,631,514
May 20, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A microengine uses two synchronized linear actuators as a power source and converts oscillatory motion from the actuators into rotational motion via direct linkage connection to an output gear or wheel. The microengine provides output in the form of a continuously rotating output gear that is capable of delivering drive torque to a micromechanism. The microengine can be operated at varying speeds and its motion can be reversed. Linear actuators are synchronized in order to provide linear oscillatory motion to the linkage means in the X and Y directions according to a desired position, rotational direction and speed of said mechanical output means. The output gear has gear teeth on its outer perimeter for directly contacting a micromechanism requiring mechanical power. The gear is retained by a retaining means which allows said gear to rotate freely. The microengine is microfabricated of polysilicon on one wafer using surface micromachining batch fabrication.
Garcia; Ernest J. (Albuquerque, NM), Sniegowski; Jeffry J. (Albuquerque, NM)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 257,317
June 9, 1994
The present invention was conceived and developed in the performance of a U.S. Government Contract. The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract No. DE-ACO4-76DP00789 between the United States Department of Energy and American Telephone and Telegraph Company.