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Micromachines 2013, 4(4), 431-443; doi:10.3390/mi4040431

A Bi-Directional Out-of-Plane Actuator by Electrostatic Force

School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
State Key Lab of Optical Technologies for Microfabrication, Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610209, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 21 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
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Presented in this paper is a bi-directional out-of-plane actuator which combines the merits of the electrostatic repulsive principle and the electrostatic attractive principle. By taking advantage of the electrostatic repulsive mode, the common “pull-in” instability can be lessened to enlarge the displacement, and by applying the electrostatic attractive mode, the out-of-plane displacement is further enlarged. The implications of changing the actuator’s physical dimensions are discussed, along with the two-layer polysilicon surface microfabrication process used to fabricate such an actuator. The static characteristics of the out-of-plane displacement versus the voltage of both modes are tested, and displacements of 1.4 μm and 0.63 μm are obtained at 130 V and 15 V, respectively. Therefore, a total stroke of 2.03 μm is achieved, more than 3 fold that of the electrostatic attractive mode, making this actuator useful in optical Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Radio Frequency (RF) MEMS applications.
Keywords: MEMS; out-of-plane actuator; electrostatic repulsive force; bi-directional; microfabrication; adaptive optics MEMS; out-of-plane actuator; electrostatic repulsive force; bi-directional; microfabrication; adaptive optics

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ren, H.; Wang, W.; Tao, F.; Yao, J. A Bi-Directional Out-of-Plane Actuator by Electrostatic Force. Micromachines 2013, 4, 431-443.

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