Author ORCID Identifier

Shahrzad Towfighian -

Document Type


Publication Date



MEMS, Triboelectricty, Electrostatic Levitation, Sensors


We demonstrate that an electrostatic levitation MEMS switch can be operated by applying mechanical pres- sure to a triboelectric generator. The toggling mechanism of the switch draws no current but requires a high actuating voltage, while the generator can supply a high voltage but only produces microwatts of power. The synergistic combination results in an entirely self-powered sensor and switch; the normally-closed MEMS switch can be toggled open by applying a threshold force to the generator without the need for any outside power or supplementary circuitry. A model of the MEMS switch and electrostatic force is validated with experimental data. An output voltage versus input force relationship for the generator is experimentally extracted.

Publisher Attribution

This article is published in Applied Physical Letters. Visit their site here:



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