Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Large Stroke Single Axis Flexure Bearings

Technology #5076

Technology

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed several novel single-axis flexure mechanism concepts / designs that offer large stroke along the motion axis while maintaining small error motion and high stiffness in the other directions.

These novel flexure mechanism ideas enable a several times increase in the motion direction stroke, without compromising other factors (error motions and stiffness), when compared to the state of the art. When integrated with a sensor or actuator at the macro or MEMS scale, these innovations will provide considerable performance improvements in micro and nano positioning than what is currently possible.

Applications

  • MEMS comb-drive actuator, XY scanners that can enable video-rate (or ultra high speed) Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Macro-scale moving magnet actuators, scanning probe microscopy and lithography applications
  • Traditional mechanical design applications where large range in the motion direction along with low errors and high stiffness in the other directions are needed

Advantages

  • Free of traditional joints, friction or backlash
  • Can be monolithically integrated
  • Simple, low-cost, zeromaintenance design