Volume 87 Issue 38 | p. 34 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 21, 2009

Catch-And-Release Method For Microbots

Scientists devise a pH-controlled system for reversing electrostatic forces between two surfaces, allowing microscale objects to be moved around
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: materials science, adhesion, microelectromechanical systems

When using a tiny robot to assemble miniature devices such as microelectromechanical systems, surface electrostatic forces come into play. For instance, attractive forces allow a robot’s little gripper to snag a microscopic component and move it into a desired position. But the adhesion can be problematic when the robot is supposed to let go of the component. Researchers in Besançon, France, have now found a simple way to gain better control over these . . .

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