Original Publication Date: 1988-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-15
A micropositioner is described in which a ferroelastic crystal is the moving element, and in which thermally generated stresses are used to move the domain wall and generate a large strain. A ferroelastic material is one in which there exists at least two states of spontaneous strain, which may be switched via an applied stress. The different ferroelastic domain states are separated by a ferroelastic domain wall which may be moved upon application of an external stress, as shown in the ferroelastic hysteresis loop in Fig. 1. The motion of the domain wall will result in a large strain. The strains involved in ferroelastic crystals can be quite large, and (Image Omitted) strains of this size would normally break or permanently deform ordinary materials.