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Open AccessArticle

An Electret-Augmented Low-Voltage MEMS Electrostatic Out-of-Plane Actuator for Acoustic Transducer Applications

Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
Research Institute of Electronics, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 432-8011, Japan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 267;
Received: 25 January 2020 / Revised: 25 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 4 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section D:Materials and Processing)
Despite the development of energy-efficient devices in various applications, microelectromechanical system (MEMS) electrostatic actuators yet require high voltages to generate large displacements. In this respect, electrets exhibiting quasi-permanent electrical charges allow large fixed voltages to be integrated directly within electrode structures to reduce or eliminate the need of DC bias electronics. For verification, a 40   V biased electret layer was fabricated at the inner surface of a silicon on insulator (SOI) structure facing a 2 μm gap owing to the high compatibility of silicon micromachining and the potassium-ion-electret fabrication method. A 10   V electret-augmented actuator with an out-of-plane motion membrane reached a sound pressure level (SPL) of 50 dB maximum with AC input voltage of V i n = 5   V pp alone, indicating a potential for acoustic transducer usage such as microspeakers. Such devices with electret biasing require only the input signal voltage, thus contributing to reducing the overall power consumption of the device system. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrets; low-voltage-driven; acoustic transducers; SOI-MEMS electrets; low-voltage-driven; acoustic transducers; SOI-MEMS
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Sano, C.; Ataka, M.; Hashiguchi, G.; Toshiyoshi, H. An Electret-Augmented Low-Voltage MEMS Electrostatic Out-of-Plane Actuator for Acoustic Transducer Applications. Micromachines 2020, 11, 267.

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