Electrostatic Levitation, MEMS, Pressure Switch, Sensors
We demonstrate a tunable air pressure switch. The switch detects when the ambient pressure drops below a threshold value and automatically triggers without the need for any computational overhead to read the pressure or trigger the switch. The switch exploits the significant fluid interaction of a MEMS beam undergoing a large oscillation from electrostatic levitation to detect changes in ambient pressure. If the oscillation amplitude near the resonant frequency is above a threshold level, dynamic pullin is triggered and the switch is closed. The pressure at which the switch closes can be tuned by adjusting the voltage applied to the switch. The use of electrostatic levitation allows the device to be released from their pulledin position and reused many times without mechanical failure. A theoretical model is derived and validated with experimental data. It is experimentally demonstrated that the pressure switching mechanism is feasible.
Pallay, M., Miles, R. N., & Towfighian, S. (2019). A tunable Electrostatic MEMS Pressure Switch. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS. doi: 10.1109/TIE.2019.2956377