A coupled-physics analysis code has been developed to simulate the electrical, thermal, and mechanical responses of surface micromachined (SMM) actuators. Our objective is to optimize the design and performance of these micro actuators. Since many new designs of these electro-thermal actuators have shuttles or platforms between beams, calculating the local Joule heating requires a multi-dimensional electrostatics analysis. Moreover, the electrical solution is strongly coupled to the temperature distribution since the electrical resistivity is temperature dependent. Thus, it is essential to perform a more comprehensive simulation that solves the coupled electrostatics, thermal, and mechanical equations. Results of the coupled-physics analyses will be presented.

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