1992 Volume 41 Issue 6 Pages 415-422
Micromachines are invisibly small and yet composed of many complicated elements. Among many studies of micromachines, mechanisms and actuators of μm in size are reviewed with their fabrication processes which are compatible with IC technology. The processes, called micromachining, can solve problems which have prohibited conventional mechanical machining from making such small machines. Micromachines will be equipped with sensors, actuators, and electronics. Although sensors and electronics are well developed, the study of microactuators have just been started. Recent topics in microactuators and their applications in surface science are discussed.