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 the performance of a uniflex actuator in terms of its displacement and blocking force compared to uniflex and flextensional actuators. A uniflex microactuator combines the strain amplification mechanisms of a unimorph and flexural motion to produce large displacement and blocking force. Analytical models for displacement and blocking force for all the three actuators are used in optimization, to study their relative performance. The uniflex actuator outperforms both unimorph and flextensional actuators in displacement, but, the unimorph actuator generates more blocking force. The uniflex actuator can therefore be used in applications that demand higher displacement and lower blocking force compared to a unimorph actuator.

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