CMU MEMS Laboratory Publication Abstract


in IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp. 759-769, October 2004.
Position Control of Parallel-Plate Microactuators for Probe-Based Data Storage
M. S. Lu and G. Fedder
In this paper, we present the use of closed-loop voltage control to extend the travel range of a parallel-plate electrostatic microactuator beyond the pull-in limit. Controller design considers nonlinearities from both the parallel-plate actuator and the capacitive position sensor to ensure robust stability within the feedback loop. Desired transient response is achieved by a pre-filter added in front of the feedback loop to shape the input command. The microactuator is characterized by static and dynamic measurements, with a spring constant of 0.17 N/m, mechanical resonant frequency of 12.4 kHz, and effective damping ratio from 0.55 to 0.35 for gaps between 2.3 to 2.65 µm. The minimum input-referred noise capacitance change is 0.5 aF/ÖHz measured at a gap of 5.7 µm, corresponding to a minimum input-referred noise displacement of 0.33 nm/ÖHz. Measured closed-loop step response illustrates a maximum travel distance up to 60% of the initial gap, surpassing the static pull-in limit of one-third of the gap.
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