Multi-scale Design Of An Actuator With Thermal-mechanical Energy Conversion And Coupling
Design of a multi-scale actuator which employs Casimir effect at nano/micro scale in order to provide actuation at meso/macro scale is addressed in this paper. Application of quantum effects at nano scale is beneficial at macro scale in a multi-scale scheme as a novel approach in designing high efficient devices. Casimir effect is found only at sub-micron scale. However it can offer an efficient source of input to a system at meso/macro scale. Manipulating the Casimir energy by optical sources has been utilized for the first time in designing a multi-scale actuator, in this paper. A Casimir oscillator which converts mechanical work to heat due to friction is designed at micro/nano scale. A thermal-mechanical energy coupling mechanism couples the nano/micro scale output to the meso/macro scale in order to provide actuation. Although friction is considered as a waste of energy in a system, it can provide an ideal coupling mechanism in a multiscale scheme which avoids physical mechanical connections. The concept of thermal-mechanical coupling in multi-scale design of this system is inspired by the Multi-scale Nonequilibrium Molecular Dynamics (MS-NEMD) technique which couples the molecular dynamics at the molecular scale to the coarse-scale model at the macro scale. This paper offers a novel and efficient actuation system. The generated power at the nano/micro scale, as computed, shows the feasibility of designing such a multi-scale actuator.