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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A large displacement, high frequency, underwater microelectromechanical systems actuator

  • Author(s): Hoelzle, DJ
  • Chan, CK
  • Scott, MB
  • Lake, MA
  • Rowat, AC
  • et al.

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© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Here, we demonstrate an in situ electrostatic actuator that can operate underwater across a wide range of displacements and frequencies, achieving a displacement of approximately 10-μm at 500-Hz and 1-μm at 5-kHz; this performance surpasses that of existing underwater physical actuators. To attain these large displacements at such high speeds, we optimized critical design parameters using a computationally efficient description of the physics of low quality (Q) factor underwater electrostatic actuators. Our theoretical model accurately predicts actuator motion profiles as well as limits of bandwidth and displacement.

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