Microactuators provide controlled motion and force for applications ranging from RF switches to rate gyros. Large amplitude response in piezoelectric actuators requires amplification of their small strain. This paper studies a uniflex microactuator that combines the strain amplification mechanisms of a unimorph and flexural motion to produce large displacement and blocking force. An analytical model is developed with three connected beams and a reflective symmetric boundary condition that predicts actuator displacement and blocking force as a function of the applied voltage. The model shows that the uniflex design requires appropriate parameter ranges, especially the clearance between the unimorph and aluminum cap, to ensure that both the unimorph and flexural amplification effects are realized. With a weakened joint at the unimorph/cap interface, the model accurately predicts the displacement and blocking force of four actuators.

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