Author ORCID Identifier

Shahrzad Towfighian -

Document Type


Publication Date



electrostatic levitation, repulsive force, MEMS accelerometer, frequency response, mechanical sensitivity, MEMS sensor, pull-in instability, nonlinear dynamics


This paper describes a tunable MEMS electrostatic accelerometer that uses repulsive electrode configuration so that the design is not hampered by capacitive pull-in instability. The repulsive force configuration enables the increase of DC bias voltage without suffering from the pull-in failure mode. This flexibility in increasing voltage can be employed as a tuning parameter to widen the working frequency range and to improve the robustness of the accelerometer. A lumped parameter model is developed to simulate the response of the microstructure under a combination of electrostatic and dynamic mechanical loading. The electrostatic force is estimated using a finite element simulation. The nonlinear equations of motion are solved for harmonic base excitations and halfsineshockloadsusingtheshootingandthelong-timeintegrationmethods,respectively. Tovalidatethemodel,asensorisfabricated and characterized under harmonic base excitation and mechanical shocks. A mechanical sensitivity of 0.1µm g is achieved when the bias voltage is 40(V). The experimental data are in good agreement with the simulation results. The comprehensive dynamical characterization presented in this study contributes to the development of functional accelerometers with tunable capabilities to harmonic and shock accelerations.

Publisher Attribution

Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, published by Elsevier -

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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