A silicon micromachined bearing was designed and fabricated consisting of a pair of self-aligning v-grooves. The two Si v-grooves were bonded together to form the three-dimensional structure through solder bumps of 75 μm diameter that provide alignment with a crucial vertical displacement tolerance. The microbearing includes integrated diode temperature sensors that serve to monitor a safe operating range under load. Current versus temperature curves and finite element analysis simulate the range of diode sensitivity. This three-dimensional structure, fabricated by silicon technology, demonstrates that a four to ten fold reduction in surgical cutting tool size can be achieved by utilizing the micromachined silicon microbearing in a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) device. A prototype microtool has been bench tested and compared with realistic operating conditions. Based on this comparison, the microbearing holds promise for application in microsurgical cutting tools or as a MEMS cutting tool for surgical applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering