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Proceedings Paper

A contribution to the expansion of the applicability of electrostatic forces in micro transducers
Author(s): Harald Schenk; Holger Conrad; Matthieu Gaudet; Sebastian Uhlig; Bert Kaiser; Sergiu Langa; Michael Stolz; Klaus Schimmanz
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Paper Abstract

Electrostatic actuation is highly efficient at micro and nanoscale. However, large deflection in common electrostatically driven MEMS requires large electrode separation and thus high driving voltages. To offer a solution to this problem we developed a novel electrostatic actuator class, which is based on a force-to-stress transformation in the periodically patterned upper layer of a silicon cantilever beam. We report on advances in the development of such electrostatic bending actuators. Several variants of a CMOS compatible and RoHS-directive compliant fabrication processes to fabricate vertical deflecting beams with a thickness of 30 μm are presented. A concept to extend the actuation space towards lateral deflecting elements is introduced. The fabricated and characterized vertical deflecting cantilever beam variants make use of a 0.2 μm electrode gap and achieve deflections of up to multiples of this value. Simulation results based on an FE-model applied to calculate the voltage dependent curvature for various actuator cell designs are presented. The calculated values show very good agreement with the experimentally determined voltage controlled actuation curvatures. Particular attention was paid to parasitic effects induced by small, sub micrometer, electrode gaps. This includes parasitic currents between the two electrode layers. No experimental hint was found that such effects significantly influence the curvature for a control voltage up to 45 V. The paper provides an outlook for the applicability of the technology based on specifically designed and fabricated actuators which allow for a large variety of motion patterns including out-of-plane and in-plane motion as well as membrane deformation and linear motion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 February 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10116, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems XVI, 1011603 (20 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2249575
Show Author Affiliations
Harald Schenk, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Brandenburg Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Holger Conrad, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Matthieu Gaudet, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Brandenburg Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Sebastian Uhlig, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Brandenburg Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Bert Kaiser, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Sergiu Langa, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Brandenburg Univ. of Technology (Germany)
Michael Stolz, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Klaus Schimmanz, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Germany)
Brandenburg Univ. of Technology (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10116:
MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems XVI
Wibool Piyawattanametha; Yong-Hwa Park, Editor(s)

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