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Analytical approach and numerical α-lines method for pull-in hyper-surface extraction of electrostatic actuators with multiple uncoupled voltage sources

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3 Author(s)
Elata, D. ; Mech. Eng. Dept., Technion Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa, Israel ; Bochobza-Degani, O. ; Nemirovsky, Y.

This work presents a systematic analysis of electrostatic actuators driven by multiple uncoupled voltage sources. The use of multiple uncoupled voltage sources has the potential of enriching the electromechanical response of electrostatically actuated deformable elements. This in turn may enable novel MEMS devices with improved and even new capabilities. It is therefore important to develop methods for analyzing this class of actuators. Pull-in is an inherent instability phenomenon that emanates from the nonlinear nature of the electromechanical coupling in electrostatic actuators. The character of pull-in in actuators with multiple uncoupled voltage sources is studied, and new insights regarding pull-in are presented. An analytical method for extracting the pull-in hyper-surface by directly solving the voltage-free K-N pull-in equations derived here, is proposed. Solving simple but interesting example problems illustrate these new insights. In addition, a novel α-lines numerical method for extracting the pull-in hyper-surface of general electrostatic actuators is presented and illustrated. This α-lines method is motivated by new features of pull-in, that are exhibited only in electrostatic actuators with multiple uncoupled voltage sources. This numerical method permits the analysis of electrostatic actuators that could not have been analyzed by using current methods.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 5 )