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A Bi-Directional Out-of-Plane Actuator by Electrostatic Force

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Presented in this paper is a bi-directional out-of-plane actuator which combines the merits of the electrostatic repulsive principle and the electrostatic attractive principle. By taking advantage of the electrostatic repulsive mode, the common “pull-in” instability can be lessened to enlarge

Presented in this paper is a bi-directional out-of-plane actuator which combines the merits of the electrostatic repulsive principle and the electrostatic attractive principle. By taking advantage of the electrostatic repulsive mode, the common “pull-in” instability can be lessened to enlarge the displacement, and by applying the electrostatic attractive mode, the out-of-plane displacement is further enlarged. The implications of changing the actuator’s physical dimensions are discussed, along with the two-layer polysilicon surface microfabrication process used to fabricate such an actuator. The static characteristics of the out-of-plane displacement versus the voltage of both modes are tested, and displacements of 1.4 μm and 0.63 μm are obtained at 130 V and 15 V, respectively. Therefore, a total stroke of 2.03 μm is achieved, more than 3 fold that of the electrostatic attractive mode, making this actuator useful in optical Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Radio Frequency (RF) MEMS applications.

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Date Created
2013-12-05