Magnetic actuation of hinged microstructures

Yong W. Yi*, Chang Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We have investigated magnetic actuation of hinged, surface micromachined structures. Electroplated magnetic material (Permalloy) is integrated with two types of hinged microstructures and the magnetic actuation process has been experimentally characterized. Under a given external magnetic field, the angular displacement of a hinged structure is determined by the volume of the magnetic material or by the stiffness of an auxiliary flexural loading spring. We have demonstrated parallel actuation of large arrays of hinged microstructures under a global (wafer scale) external magnetic field. The design rules for achieving a prescribed asynchronous actuation sequence among a group of microstructures have been determined to enable efficient parallel assembly of three-dimensional (3-D) microstructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Hinged microstructures
  • Magnetic actuation
  • Parallel assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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