This chapter presents a promising digital control of active microstructures developed and tested on silicon chips by current division and thus independent Joule heating powers, especially for planar submillimeter two-dimensional (2-D) grid microstructures built on silicon wafers by surface microfabrication. Current division on such 2-D grid networks with 2 × 2, 3 × 3, and n × n loops was modeled and analyzed theoretically by employing Kirchhoff’s voltage law (KVL) and Kirchhoff’s current law (KCL), which demonstrated the feasibility of active control of the networks by Joule heating effect. Furthermore, in situ testing of a typical 2-D microstructure with 2 × 2 loops by different DC sources was carried out, and the thermomechanical deformation due to Joule heating was recorded. As a result, active control of the current division has been proven to be a reliable and efficient approach to achieving the digital actuation of 2-D microstructures on silicon chips. Digital control of such microstructural networks on silicon chips envisions great potential applications in active reconfigurable buses for microrobots and flexible electronics.
Part of the book: Network-on-Chip