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Sensors 2012, 12(8), 10881-10889; doi:10.3390/s120810881

A Comb-Drive Actuator Driven by Capacitively-Coupled-Power

1 Institute of NanoEngineering and MicroSystems, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kuang-Fu Rd., Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, National United University, 1, Lienda, Miaoli 36003, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2012 / Revised: 17 July 2012 / Accepted: 27 July 2012 / Published: 7 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transducer Systems)
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This paper presents a new actuation mechanism to drive comb-drive actuators. An asymmetric configuration of the finger overlap was used to generate capacitive coupling for the actuation mechanism. When the driving voltages were applied on the stators, a voltage would be induced at the rotor due to the capacitive coupling. Then, an electrostatic force would be exerted onto the rotor due to the voltage differences between the stators and the rotor. The actuator’s static displacement and resonant frequency were theoretically analyzed. To verify the design, a comb-drive actuator with different initial finger overlaps, i.e., 159.3 μm and 48.9 μm on each side, was fabricated and tested. The results show that the actuator worked well using the proposed actuation mechanism. A static displacement of 41.7 μm and a resonant frequency of 577 Hz were achieved. Using the actuation mechanism, no electrical connection is required between the rotor and the outside power supply. This makes some comb-drive actuators containing heterogeneous structures easy to design and actuate.
Keywords: actuation mechanism; capacitive coupling; electrostatic actuators actuation mechanism; capacitive coupling; electrostatic actuators
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chang, C.-M.; Wang, S.-Y.; Chen, R.; Yeh, J.A.; Hou, M.T. A Comb-Drive Actuator Driven by Capacitively-Coupled-Power. Sensors 2012, 12, 10881-10889.

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