Next Article in Journal
A Review on Mixing in Microfluidics
Previous Article in Journal
High-Performance Shuffle Motor Fabricated by Vertical Trench Isolation Technology
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

1,2,* , 1,2
,
1,2
 and
3
1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5A9, Canada 2 TRLabs, 111-116 Research Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3R3, Canada 3 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Institut für Mikrostrukturtechnik (IMT), Postfach 3640, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 May 2010 / Revised: 9 July 2010 / Accepted: 26 July 2010 / Published: 28 July 2010
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [524 KB, uploaded 28 July 2010]   |  

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 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 (CC BY 3.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
RIS
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.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here

Comments

[Return to top]
Micromachines EISSN 2072-666X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert