Surface acoustic waves (SAWs) are used to drive a 1 mm diameter rotor at speeds exceeding 9000 rpm and torque of nearly 5 nNm. Unlike recent high-speed SAW rotary motors, however, the present design does not require a fluid coupling layer but interestingly exploits adhesive stiction as an internal preload, a force usually undesirable at these scales; with additional preloads, smaller rotors can be propelled to 15 000 rpm. This solid-state motor has no moving parts except for the rotor and is sufficiently simple to allow integration into miniaturized drive systems for potential use in microfluidic diagnostics, optical switching and microrobotics.

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