Nanometer-class Structural Actuators -an Oxymoron?


Date Thursday September 18th 2003
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Some people consider the phrase “nanometer-class structural actuator” to be an oxymoron: violating discretion and professional integrity if not an outright violation of the “Copenhagen interpretation”. The speaker will show that none of this is true and that the century-long search for nanometer-class structural actuators has succeeded. He has developed over the past fifteen years several families of nanometer-class (and even picometer-class) actuators for use in precision instruments of all kinds that require high accuracy, precision and stability. The new class of actuators also offers some interesting properties including athermalization, linearity, temporal stability and unlimited resolution.

The talk will illuminate the design principles that the speaker applies to the design of actuators and the range of behavior one may expect from a design. The actuators are built with structural grade materials in their load paths, thereby making them true structural actuators. Practical applications will be discussed ranging from cryogenic space telescopes to gravity wave research and semiconductor manufacturing. Several examples of actuators will be available for inspection (and some for operation).


Mr. Hatheway received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Fellow of SPIE, Past President of OSSC, a Senior Member of AIAA and a member of the OSA, ASME and AOC. He is chair of SPIE's International Technical Group on Optomechanical Engineering, chair of ANSI-ASME B46.1 subcommittee on "Nanometer Surface Texture and Step Height Measurements by Stylus Profiling Instruments" and a tutorial instructor in optomechanical engineering topics.

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