Two-axis microstage system

Phillip Beverly, Ganapathy Sivakumar, Tim Dallas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We report on the design, fabrication, and testing of a two-axis stage that was used to move a cantilever arm. We utilized Sandia National Laboratories' MEMS foundry process that incorporates five levels of polysilicon and four sacrificial layers of silicon dioxide. The X-Y stage was actuated with the full 110 μm of travel in both dimensions. To demonstrate the travel of the stage, a cantilevered arm was attached to the stage and extended off the edge of the chip. Rotational motion from torsional ratcheting actuators is converted to linear motion through an intricate mechanical system. The rotational engines drive two independent spiral cams that provide the linkage system with the angular to linear translation needed to move the stage arms. A pin and the slotted X-Y stage arms allow motion in both the X- and Y -directions. This initial device has been successfully operated and demonstrates a useful design for producing 2-D motion using a MEMS. The unidirectional rotational drives used in these experiments did not allow the retraction of the stage, but there appears to be a clear path to back-and-forth motion using bidirectional rotational drives or linear actuators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-868
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Microactuators
  • Microelectromechanical devices
  • Micromotors


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