Theory and experiments of angular vertical comb-drive actuators for scanning micromirrors

Hah D., Patterson P., Nguyen H., Toshiyoshi H., Wu M.

IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, vol.10, no.3, pp.505-513, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/jstqe.2004.829200
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.505-513
  • Keywords: angular vertical comb-drive (AVC) actuator, micromirror, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) microelectromechanical systems, (MEMS), staggered verticle comb-drive (SVC) actuator
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: No


We report on the theory and experiments of scanning micromirrors with angular vertical comb-drive (AVC) actuators. Parametric analyses of rotational vertical comb-drive actuators using a hybrid model that combines two-dimensional finite-element solutions with analytic formulations are described. The model is applied to both AVC and staggered vertical comb-drive (SVC) actuators. Detailed design tradeoffs and conditions for pull-in-free operations are discussed. Our simulation results show that the fringe fields play an important role in the estimation of maximum continuous rotation angles, particularly for combs with thin fingers, and that the maximum scan angle of the AVC is up to 60% larger than that of the SVC. Experimentally, a large de continuous scan angle of 28.8degrees (optical) has been achieved with a moderate voltage (65 V) for a 1-mm-diameter scanning micromirror with AVC actuators. Excellent agreement between the experimental data and the theoretical simulations has been obtained.