Micromachines 2010, 1(2), 68-81; doi:10.3390/mi1020068
Article

Reducing Pull-In Voltage by Adjusting Gap Shape in Electrostatically Actuated Cantilever and Fixed-Fixed Beams

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Received: 26 May 2010; in revised form: 9 July 2010 / Accepted: 26 July 2010 / Published: 28 July 2010
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Abstract: A gap with variable geometry is presented for both cantilever beam and fixed-fixed beam actuators as a method to reduce the pull-in voltage while maintaining a required displacement. The method is applicable to beams oriented either in a plane parallel to or perpendicular to a substrate, but is most suitable for vertically oriented (lateral) beams fabricated with a high aspect ratio process where variable gap geometry can be implemented directly in the layout. Finite element simulations are used to determine the pull-in voltages of these modified structures. The simulator is verified against theoretical pull-in voltage equations as well as previously published finite element simulations. By simply varying the gap in a linear fashion the pull-in voltage can be reduced by 37.2% in the cantilever beam case and 29.6% in the fixed-fixed beam case over a structure with a constant gap. This can be reduced a further 4.8% by using a polynomial gap shape (n = 4/3) for the cantilever beam and 1.2% for the fixed-fixed beam by flattening the bottom of the linearly varying gap.
Keywords: electrostatic; actuator; gap shape; finite element; MEMS; pull-in voltage; high aspect ratio; LIGA
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Haluzan, D.T.; Klymyshyn, D.M.; Achenbach, S.; Börner, M. Reducing Pull-In Voltage by Adjusting Gap Shape in Electrostatically Actuated Cantilever and Fixed-Fixed Beams. Micromachines 2010, 1, 68-81.

AMA Style

Haluzan DT, Klymyshyn DM, Achenbach S, Börner M. Reducing Pull-In Voltage by Adjusting Gap Shape in Electrostatically Actuated Cantilever and Fixed-Fixed Beams. Micromachines. 2010; 1(2):68-81.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haluzan, Darcy T.; Klymyshyn, David M.; Achenbach, Sven; Börner, Martin. 2010. "Reducing Pull-In Voltage by Adjusting Gap Shape in Electrostatically Actuated Cantilever and Fixed-Fixed Beams." Micromachines 1, no. 2: 68-81.


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