SBIR Phase I: Self Sensing Tweezers for Microassembly and Manipulation

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Insitutec, Inc.
45 Odell School Road, Suite A
Concord, NC 28027
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses novel, self-sensing tweezers for micro-assembly and manipulation. In general, the push toward miniaturization is demanding the production and assembly of a wide variety of micro-scale components. One of the key challenges is the assembly of these components into micro-systems. The new methodology, which generates standing waves in high aspect ratio microscale fibers, will overcome problems associated with attraction forces, provide self sensing detection for force feedback of specimens and is inherently capable of dimensional measurements. Using this method as high aspect ratio tweezers will: enable higher yields in assembly of micro-devices with precise placement, ability to assemble and maneuver samples in challenging features such as cavities and holes, and enable in-situ process easurements throughout the assembly process.The broader impact of this research in standing wave manipulators is to enable new micro-assembly processes and provide insight into new designs and discoveries for micro and nano-scale science. The medical field includes areas such as microsurgery, microbiology, and medical implants. Broader applications also include integrated circuit assembly, microfluidic devices for protein and DNA identification, and MEMS devices for actuation and sensing. The methodology is inherently scaleable to microscale and further to nanoscale applications. In the case of microscale processes, the manipulator tool could result in lower production costs, higher repeatability, and higher dimensional accuracy.