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Proceedings 2017, 1(4), 282;

Reduction of Electrostatic Control Voltage with a Tri-Electrode Actuator

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6, Canada
Presented at the Eurosensors 2017 Conference, Paris, France, 3–6 September 2017.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Published: 11 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of Eurosensors 2017)
PDF [1029 KB, uploaded 23 November 2017]


We present a new tri-electrode topology for reducing the control voltage for electrostatic actuators. Conventional parallel plate actuators are dual-electrode systems, formed by the MEMS structure and the drive electrode. By placing a perforated intermediate electrode between these elements, a tri-electrode configuration is formed. This topology enables a low voltage on the intermediate electrode to modulate the electrostatic force on the MEMS device, while the higher voltage on the drive electrode remains fixed. Results presented show that in comparison to conventional parallel plate electrostatic actuators, the intermediate electrode’s modulating voltage can be as low as 20% of normal, while still providing the full actuation stroke.
Keywords: electrostatic actuator; tri-electrode topology; low voltage driving; FEM electrostatic actuator; tri-electrode topology; low voltage driving; FEM
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhou, Y.; Shafai, C. Reduction of Electrostatic Control Voltage with a Tri-Electrode Actuator. Proceedings 2017, 1, 282.

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