Authors: J.A. Pelesko and A.A. Triolo
Affilation: Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
Pages: 509 - 512
Keywords: MEMS control, electrostatic actuation, pull-in, instability, nonlocal elliptic problem
Perhaps the most ubiquitous phenomena associated with electrostatically actuated MEMS devices is the "pull-in" voltage instability. In this instability, when applied voltages are increased beyond a certain critical voltage there is no longer a steady-state configuration of the device where mechanical members remain separate. This instability severely restricts the range of stable operation of many devices. Here, a mathematical model of an idealized electrostatically actuated MEMS device is constructed for the purpose of analyzing various schemes proposed for the control of the pull-in instability. This embedding of a device into a control circuit gives rise to a nonlinear and nonlocal elliptic problem which is analyzed through a variety of asymptotic, analytical, and numerical techniques. Variations in capacitive control schemes are shown to give rise to variations in solutions of the model and hence to effect the pull-in voltage and pull-in distance.