This paper reports on the fabrication and characterization of a novel laterally-driven piezoelectric bimorph micro electro mechanical systems actuator with high aspect-ratio (AR) lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) structures. The PZT structures (AR=8) sandwiched with Pt sidewall electrodes were fabricated by a nanocomposite sol-gel process with micromachined silicon templates. A single-cantilever-type lateral bimorph actuator was successfully fabricated, and no initial vertical bending was observed, even on a 500 μm long actuator. A lateral displacement of 10 μm was obtained in bimorph actuation at driving voltages of +25 V/-5 V. Then the piezoelectric property of the PZT structure was characterized from the actuator's performance. The lateral piezoelectric actuator has a variety of potential applications as a replacement for electrostatic comb drive actuators occupying a large area.
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