Research topics


Micromechatronics, also known as precision engineering, is dealing with the technical realisation of miniature electromechancial structures. Here, the main focus is on the development and the manufacturing of small and precise set ups. Apart from the mechanical stability, the functionality of the small-scale components has to be ensured in all cases. Capillary action and adhesion sometimes can be a challenge. Also, stiffness, friction, and joint play are a major concern when compared to macroscopic set ups.

Microsystem Technology (MEMS)

Microsystems technology comprises design, manufacturing and application of miniaturised technical systems. Its components feature structure sizes and tolerances in the micro and nano range. [Gerlach]

The research focuses on two key aspects:

Energyefficient micro actuators based on electrostatic and electrothermomechanical actuation principlesIntegration of nanoscale functional elements in microsystems.


Elektroactive Polymers (EAP)

Electroactive Polymer (EAP) is a generic term for a multitude of syntetics which share the common characteristics of changing their shape under an applied electrical voltage or charge. The underlying mechanism of the shape change can differ from material to material.

Research at EMK focusses on Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEA). DEA are a subgroup of EAP where the electric field is the main cause of the shape change.