This paper investigates a novel silicon/polymer hybrid MEMS actuator and reports on its design optimization. The actuator, incorporating a three-dimensional poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) flexural microstructure, is designed to generate multi-axis displacement of motion. This work develops a four-bar linkage model for parametric design of the actuator and validates it using finite element analysis (FEA). The optimization of the device geometry is performed using Genetic Algorithm (GA) such that the resulting out-of-plane displacement can achieve a maximum value under several design constrains due to fabrication and operation limitations. The out-of-plane displacement of the optimized actuator structure is calculated to be as large as 60 μm at 50 V input actuation voltage. Due to its unique mechanical and optical material properties, the PDMS microstructure allows the proposed device to achieve actuation performances suitable for a wide variety of micro-optics applications, including micro optical scanners, dynamic-focus micro lens holders, and mechanically flexible optical gratings.

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