Magnetic self-assembly of millimeter-scale components with angular orientation

TitleMagnetic self-assembly of millimeter-scale components with angular orientation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsShetye, S., I. Eskinazi, and D. P. Arnold
JournalJ. Micromech. Syst.
Start Page599
Date Published06/2010

The focus of this article is the demonstration and evaluation of a multi-functional self-assembly process driven by inter-magnetic forces between permanent (hard) magnets on 1 mm x 1 mm x 0.5 mm Si parts. Composite, bonded-powder micromagnets are embedded in the silicon components using back-end, low-temperature, wafer-level microfabrication techniques. Part-to-part assembly is demonstrated by batch assembly of free-floating parts in a liquid environment with the assembly yield of different magnetic patterns varying from 88% to 90% in 20 s. Part-to-substrate assembly is demonstrated by assembling an ordered array onto a fixed substrate in a dry environment with assembly yield up to 99% in just 20 s. In both cases, diverse magnetic shapes/patterns are used to control the alignment and angular orientation of the components. Experimental analysis of many different magnetic patterns shows that patterns with more planes of rotational symmetry result in faster assembly speeds.