Assembly of LIGA using Electric Fields
The goal of this project was to develop a device that uses electric fields to grasp and possibly levitate LIGA parts. This non-contact form of grasping would solve many of the problems associated with grasping parts that are only a few microns in dimensions. Scaling laws show that for parts this size, electrostatic and electromagnetic forces are dominant over gravitational forces. This is why micro-parts often stick to mechanical tweezers. If these forces can be controlled under feedback control, the parts could be levitated, possibly even rotated in air. In this project, we designed, fabricated, and tested several grippers that use electrostatic and electromagnetic fields to grasp and release metal LIGA parts. The eventual use of this tool will be to assemble metal and non-metal LIGA parts into small electromechanical systems.