Frequency-dependent stability of parallel-plate electrostatic actuators in conductive fluids

Sounart, T. L.; Panchawagh, H. V.; Mahajan, R. L.
May 2010
Applied Physics Letters;5/17/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 20, p203505
Academic Journal
We present an electromechanical stability analysis of passivated parallel-plate electrostatic actuators in conductive dielectric media and show that the pull-in instability can be eliminated by tuning the applied frequency below a design-dependent stability limit. A partial instability region is also obtained, where the actuator jumps from the pull-in displacement to another stable position within the gap. The results predict that the stability limit is always greater than the critical actuation frequency, and therefore any device that is feasible to actuate in a conductive fluid can be operated with stability over the full range of motion.


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