Actuators are components that perform movement or action in a system or a mechanism. memetis thin-film actuators are made of shape memory alloy (SMA) which is also known as a smart material or a memory metal due to its ability to "memorize" its original shape.
SMAs exist in two different crystal structures at different temperatures and "remember" the earlier shape upon heating even after strong deformation. A shape memory alloy is thus a metallic alloy that can be easily deformed in the cold state, for example by pressure. However, as soon as it is heated, for example by a current pulse, the material returns to its original state - to its "shape memory" structure. This is the so-called
shape memory effect.
The forces generated in the transition between the two states can be used to control movements in the smallest of spaces. memetis GmbH uses this behavior to produce actuators and actuator systems from thin-film SMA that are ultra-compact and serve a wide range of applications.