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Very compact, high-stability electrostatic actuator featuring contact-free self-limiting displacement

United States Patent

January 14, 2003
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A compact electrostatic actuator is disclosed for microelectromechanical (MEM) applications. The actuator utilizes stationary and moveable electrodes, with the stationary electrodes being formed on a substrate and the moveable electrodes being supported above the substrate on a frame. The frame provides a rigid structure which allows the electrostatic actuator to be operated at high voltages (up to 190 Volts) to provide a relatively large actuation force compared to conventional electrostatic comb actuators which are much larger in size. For operation at its maximum displacement, the electrostatic actuator is relatively insensitive to the exact value of the applied voltage and provides a self-limiting displacement.
Rodgers; M. Steven (Albuquerque, NM), Miller; Samuel L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 615,008
July 11, 2000
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.