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    STUDIA PHYSICA - Issue no. 1 / 2007  
  Article:   MAGNETIC MEMS.

Authors:  NORA M. DEMPSEY.
  Abstract:  Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) are devices of sub-mm dimensions integrating various components (mechanical elements, sensors, actuators) and electronics on a common substrate (typically Si). They are progressively permeating our everyday lives, mainly in the form of micro-sensors (pressure, temperature, contact, chemical, gyroscopes etc…) and have applications in many fields including automotive, air-and-space, industrial processing and biotechnology. The potential impact of MEMS actuators has not yet been realised because their output forces, torques and energy densities are much limited by the mainly electrostatic principles upon which today’s systems are based. Micro-actuators incorporating magnetic materials and based on magnetic actuation principles provide a number of advantages over electrostatic actuators, namely low voltage and power consumption combined with large actuation forces over relatively long distances. However their emergence has been limited by the non-availability of high quality magnets of the appropriate size.  
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