24 June 2014 Vertical electrostatic force in MEMS cantilever IR sensor
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A MEMS cantilever IR detector that repetitively lifts from the surface under the influence of a saw-tooth electrostatic force, where the contact duty cycle is a measure of the absorbed IR radiation, is analyzed. The design is comprised of three parallel conducting plates. Fixed buried and surface plates are held at opposite potential. A moveable cantilever is biased the same as the surface plate. Calculations based on energy methods with position-dependent capacity and electrostatic induction coefficients demonstrate the upward sign of the force on the cantilever and determine the force magnitude. 2D finite element method calculations of the local fields confirm the sign of the force and determine its distribution across the cantilever. The upward force is maximized when the surface plate is slightly larger than the other two. The electrostatic repulsion is compared with Casimir sticking force to determine the maximum useful contact area. MEMS devices were fabricated and the vertical displacement of the cantilever was observed in a number of experiments. The approach may be applied also to MEMS actuators and micromirrors.
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Imen Rezadad, Imen Rezadad, Javaneh Boroumand Azad, Javaneh Boroumand Azad, Evan M. Smith, Evan M. Smith, Ammar Alhasan, Ammar Alhasan, Robert E. Peale, Robert E. Peale, "Vertical electrostatic force in MEMS cantilever IR sensor", Proc. SPIE 9070, Infrared Technology and Applications XL, 90701U (24 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052355; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052355

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