Parallel Kinematic Mechanism based monolithic XY micro-positioning stage with rotary comb drive actuators

Deepkishore Mukhopadhyay, Jingyan Dong, Placid M. Ferreira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Micro-positioning stages fabricated using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based processes have been critical in enabling micro/nano manipulation and probing. These stages have been extensively used in micro-force sensors, scanning probe microscopy and micro optical lens scanners. This paper presents the design, kinematic and dynamic analysis, fabrication and characterization of a novel monolithic micro-positioning XY stage. The design of the proposed micro-positioning stage is based on a Parallel Kinematic Mechanism (PKM). The PKM based design decouples the motion in the XY direction. Additionally, it restricts the parasitic rotation of the end-effector (table) of the micro-positioning stage while providing an increased motion range. The motion of the stage is linear in the operating range thus simplifying its kinematics. The truss like parallel kinematic mechanism design of the stage structure reduces its mass while keeping the stage stiffness high. This leads to a high natural frequency of the micro-positioning stage (1250Hz) and a high Q-factor of 156. The stage mechanism is fabricated on a Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) substrate and is actuated by integrated electrostatic rotary comb drives. The fabrication process uses multi-layer patterning along with an Inductively Coupled Plasma Deep Reactive Ion Etching (ICP-DRIE). The use of ICP-DRIE enables the high aspect ratio etching that is required for the stage fabrication and its optimal actuation using the integrated electrostatic rotary comb drives. The fabricated stages have a motion range of more than 30 microns of decoupled displacements along the X and Y directions at a driving voltage of 200V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XIII
StatePublished - Mar 31 2008
EventMicromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XIII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 22 2008Jan 23 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherMicromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Micro positioning
  • Nano positioning
  • Parallel kinematic mechanism
  • Rotary comb drives
  • Silicon-on-insulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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