Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a Piezoelectric T-Beam Actuator

Open Access
Hirsh, Andrew
Graduate Program:
Mechanical Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
October 20, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Christopher Rahn, Thesis Advisor
  • Srinivas A Tadigadapa, Thesis Advisor
  • T-Beam
  • Actuator
  • Piezoelectric
This thesis introduces a novel T-beam actuator fabricated using a precision dicing saw. Bulk PZT is diced to produce cantilevered beams with T-shaped cross sections. Electrodes are deposited on the top of the web, bottom of the flange, and the top of the right and left flanges. Selectively activating these electrodes creates active and passive regions in the PZT structure and in-plane and out-of-plane bending with bimorph-like performance. Several devices are fabricated and experimentally tested for in-plane and out-of-plane displacement using a microscope/camera with optical measurement. Combinations of applied voltage, ground, and float on the four electrodes are tested to determine optimal actuation cases that maximize tip deflection. For 19 mm long and 1 mm thick T-beam actuators, 15 microns of out-of-plane deflection amplitude and 5.5 microns of in-plane deflection amplitude is achieved at 0.4 V/micron actuation voltage.