Bi-stability of micro-plates: A sensitive mechanism for differential pressure measurements

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Abstract

The electrostatic instability (pull-in) of a flat electrode in a parallel plate capacitor has been shown to be highly sensitive to external mechanical loads such as pressure. In this paper, we substantiate the possibility of prompting additional unstable configurations in such a system, with a remarkable sensitivity to the applied pressure. This additional instability has significant advantageous properties for sensing purposes. In addition to the high sensitivity and robustness of the pull-in voltage measurements, it can be adjusted so that after the unstable configuration is met, a snap-through to a new stable configuration occurs. As a result of this bi-stable behavior, the contact between the electrodes, which is the main drawback of pull-in phenomena, will be easily avoided. The results of this paper particularly suggest the suitability of this mechanism for two different methods of pressure measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124101
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume111
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Electrostatics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Chemical composition
  • Elastic moduli
  • Adsorption

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