Vanadium Dioxide (VO2), is an interesting material for micro/nanoactuators due to its fast and reversible Solid State Phase Transitions (SSPT) at 68°C that in single crystals shows strain values up to 1 % and large applied forces. This transition occurs in a temperature window of 5-10 °C, with hysteresis and in thin films it progresses in domains having micrometric or nanometric size, depending on the growing conditions. We present two VO2-based microdevices exploiting the domain structure of this SSPT. A programmable mechanical resonator having mechanical memory capabilities and a mechanical oscillator excited only by a DC source are discussed. VO2-based microactuators could add unique features to the field of nanoactuators thanks to its peculiar properties and to the possibility to preserve and control the SSPT of this material down to submicrometric scale. Details on the project “solid state actuators for micro/nanorobotics” can be found at http://www.vo2actuators.spin.cnr.it .
Phase Transition, Microactuator, Resonator, Oscillator, Vanadium Dioxide