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Proceedings Paper

Design and simulation of comb-drive actuators incorporating gray-scale technology for tailored actuation characteristics
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Paper Abstract

We report, for the first time, the design and simulation of electrostatic MEMS comb-drive actuators incorporating gray-scale technology to tailor actuator properties. Specifically, 3-dimensional comb-fingers and suspensions enable customized displacement characteristics and lower driving voltages without increasing the device footprint. The local height of each comb-finger is varied using gray-scale technology to modify the change in capacitance with position, thereby altering the generated force. The displacement characteristics of various comb-finger geometries were simulated using analytical approximations and finite element analysis (FEMLAB). Simulations show that variable height comb-finger designs may reduce the local change in capacitance (or force) by up to 75%, resulting in increased displacement resolution. We also show that gray-scale technology is capable of simultaneously reducing the height of comb-drive suspensions, causing a corresponding reduction in spring constant for lower driving voltages. The design and simulation of variable height comb-drives is presented along with experimental confirmation of the simulated performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5836, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS II, (1 July 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.608529
Show Author Affiliations
Brian Morgan, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Reza Ghodssi, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5836:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS II
Carles Cane; Jung-Chih Chiao; Fernando Vidal Verdu, Editor(s)

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