DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
MEMS electrostatic motor chip. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a close-up of an electrostatic motor MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) device. MEMS devices are constructed on a microscopic scale using technologies such as wet and dry etching and thin film deposition. Applications include sensors and optical displays. Materials used to construct MEMS devices include silicon and polymers such as plastics. This device is a fully functioning rotational motor consisting of interlocking electrostatic electrodes (seen here) and a ratchet gear system for motion translation to rotary gears, which actuates hinged devices. Magnification: x383, when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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