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Micromechanical electrostatic voltmeter

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2 Author(s)
Hsu, C.H. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Muller, R.S.

The prototype for a microminiature, noncontacting electrostatic voltmeter (ESV) is discussed. The ESV works on the principle of intermittent shuttering and exposing a sensing electrode to an electric field between a remote electrode at a different potential from the sensing electrode. The resultant time-varying field at the electrode produces an electrical signal which can be used to monitor the remote voltage. The prototype ESVs hat have been made and tested have electrostatic-comb drives and shutters with areas ranging from 0.022 to 0.067 mm/sup 2/ that are suspended roughly 2 mu m above the surface of the silicon substrate. Initial tests on ESVs showed them to respond to voltages above 20 V for electrodes spaced 0.2 mm away. Sensitivity is expected to be greatly improved by redesigns that are already being investigated.<>

Published in:

Solid-State Sensors and Actuators, 1991. Digest of Technical Papers, TRANSDUCERS '91., 1991 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

24-27 June 1991