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Electrostatically balanced comb drive for controlled levitation

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3 Author(s)
W. C. Tang ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; M. G. Lim ; R. T. Howe

An experimental study of the levitation force, normal to the substrate, associated with interdigital capacitor electrostatic comb lateral actuators is reported. For compliant suspensions, normal displacements of over 2 mu m for a comb bias of 30 V were observed. This phenomenon is due to electrostatic repulsion by image charges mirrored in the ground plane beneath the suspended structure. By electrically isolating alternating drive-comb fingers and applying voltages of equal magnitude and opposite sign, levitation can be reduced by an order of magnitude while reducing the lateral drive force by less than a factor of two.<>

Published in:

Solid-State Sensor and Actuator Workshop, 1990. 4th Technical Digest., IEEE

Date of Conference:

4-7 June 1990