Authors: S.M. Barnes, S.L. Miller, M.S. Rodgers and F. Bitsie
Affilation: Sandia National Laboratories, United States
Pages: 273 - 276
Keywords: MEMS, actuator, electrostatic, comb, ratchet
A new type of surface micromachined ratcheting actuation system has been developed at the Microelectronics Development Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories. The actuator uses a torsional electrostatic comb drive that is coupled to an external ring gear through a ratcheting scheme. The actuator can be operated with a single square wave, has minimal rubbing surfaces, maximizes comb finger density, and can be used for open-loop position control. The prototypes function as intended with a minimum demonstrated operating voltage of 18V. The equations of motion are developed for the torsional electrostatic comb drive. The resonant frequency, voltage vs. displacement and force delivery characteristics are predicted and compared with the fabricated device’s performance.