A comparison of PZT-based and TiNi shape memory alloy-based MEMS microactuators

Bo Kuai Lai, H. Kahn, Stephen Phillips, A. H. Heuer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


Microactuators based on PbZr1-xTixO3 (PZT) and TiNi shape memory alloys (SMAs) are compared using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) micropumps and microvalves as typical devices. The advantages of PZT-based microactuation include large actuation forces and high operating frequencies, leading to high operating pressures and flow rates. Disadvantages include high operating voltages and low strains. TiNi SMA-based microactuators can achieve high flow rates at low operating voltages, due to their high recoverable strains; however, they suffer from low operating frequencies and high power consumption. For both microactuation schemes, additional structures are usually required to realize the reciprocating motion required for MEMS devices. When used in MEMS, the thicknesses of PZT and TiNi SMA films range up to several microns. The thickness dependence of properties relevant to microactuation of PZT and TiNi SMA thin films are discussed and compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFerroelectrics
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • MEMS
  • PZT films
  • Thickness limitation
  • TiNi films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of PZT-based and TiNi shape memory alloy-based MEMS microactuators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this