A novel large displacement electrostatic actuator: Pre-stress comb-drive actuator

Jin-Chern Chiou*, Y. J. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This investigation proposes a novel large vertical displacement electrostatic actuator, called the pre-stress comb-drive actuator (PCA), which exhibits no pull-in and no hysteresis characteristics. The proposed PCA consists of a set of comb fingers fabricated along the composite beam and substrate. One end of the composite beam is clamped to the anchor, whereas the other end is elevated vertically by the residual stress. The actuation occurs when the electrostatic force, induced by the fringe effect, pulls the composite beam downward to the substrate. A post-heat treatment process was employed to increase the initial lift height of the PCA to obtain a large actuation stroke. A mathematical model, based on a newly developed modeling approach, is introduced to estimate the static characteristic of the PCA. A PCA was fabricated using the PolyMUMPs process based on the proposed design concept. Following packaging and applying a post-heat treatment process, a 110 νm initial tip height and a 90 νm vertical motion range were achieved. Neither pull-in nor hysteresis was observed. The simulation results were closely matched with the observations. This work also studies the frequency response and measurement of the maximum vibration of the PCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1648
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2005

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