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Resonant Pull-In Condition in Parallel-Plate Electrostatic Actuators

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3 Author(s)
Fargas-Marques, A. ; Tech. Univ. of Catalonia, Barcelona ; Casals-Terre, J. ; Shkel, A.M.

Electrostatic parallel-plate actuators are a common way of actuating microelectromechanical systems, both statically and dynamically. In the static case, the stable actuation voltages are limited by the static pull-in condition, which indicates that the travel range is approximately limited to 1/3 of the initial actuation gap. Under dynamic actuation conditions, however, the stable voltages are reduced, whereas the travel range can be much extended. This is the case with the dynamic pull-in and the resonant pull-in conditions (RPCs). Using energy analysis, this paper extends the study of pull-in instability to the resonant case and derives the analytical RPC. This condition predicts snapping or pull-in of the structure for a given domain of dc and ac actuation voltages versus quality factor, taking into account the nonlinearities due to large amplitudes of oscillation. Experimental results are presented to validate the analytically derived RPC.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 5 )