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Center For Applied and Computational Mathematics

A Thermal Actuator for Liquid Drop Emitters


In this project we are developing microactuators for use in ink jet printing. These actuators are bilayer cantilever microbeams.  They bend in response to currents that are run through them and which increase their temperatures.  The project involves coupling the thermal, solid mechanical, and fluid mechanical aspects of the problem.


  1. A Thermal Actuator for Liquid Drop Emitters, A. Cabal, D.S. Ross, D. Trauernicht, and J. Lebens, Sensors and Actuators 123-124C, 531-539, (2005).


  1. U.S. Patent # 7,033,000: Tapered Multi-Layer Thermal Actuator and Method of Operating Same. Delametter, Furlani, Lebens, Trauernicht, Cabal, Ross, and Pond.
  2. U.S. Patent # 6,953,240: Snap-Through Thermal Actuator. Cabal, Lebens, Trauernicht, and Ross.
  3. U.S. Patent # 6,631,979: Thermal Actuator with Optimized Heater Length. Lebens, Cabal, and Ross.
  4. U.S. Patent # 6,598,960: Multi-Layer Thermal Micro-Actuator with Optimized Heater & Method of Operating Same. Cabal, Furlani, Lebens, Trauernicht, and Ross.