Photo-thermally actuated polymer (SU-8) microgrippers were designed, simulated and characterized. The microgrippers were actuated by thermal expansion of compliant polymer parts. The required heat was transferred to the devices by laser absorption. The microgrippers were made of a single SU-8 layer and dyed before the experiments for enhanced laser absorption. Finite element simulation results were used to predict the working range of the grippers. It has been demonstrated that using a simple design 22 μm of deflection can be achieved for a micro-gripper of approximately 900 μm long. The gripping experiments have demonstrated the successful operation of polymeric photo-thermal microgrippers.

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