Electro-mechanical modelling and experimental characterization of a high-aspect-ratio electrostatic-capacitive MEMS device

F. Cerini, M. Ferrari, V. Ferrari, A. Russo, M. Azpeitia Urquia, R. Ardito, B. De Masi, R. I. P. Sedmik

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


As the typical surface separations in Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are reduced to below one micrometer, detailed knowledge of the interaction forces down to this scale is required. In this context, we have developed a dedicated experimental platform to directly investigate electrostatic and physical effects in a high-aspect-ratio electrostatic-capacitive MEMS device based on commercial technology. In the present work, we report on an extensive experimental characterization, focused on the influence of the surface separations, electric surface potentials, and pressure on the static and dynamical behaviour of the device under precisely controlled conditions. For the proper analysis of the bias position and small-displacement response of the device, we have developed a comprehensive electro-mechanical model capable of describing the aforementioned effects, and allowing to extract the mechanical and electrical device parameters from the experimental data. Based on the developed model, a strong experimental evidence is found for significant variations in device characteristics upon reduction of surface separation to below one micrometer. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-231
Number of pages13
JournalSensors and Actuators A-Physical
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2017


  • Bias position
  • Casimir
  • Dynamical small-displacement characterization
  • Electro-mechanical modelling
  • Electrostatic-capacitive MEMS
  • Interaction forces
  • Parasitic electrostatics
  • Pull-in
  • Stiction


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