We report a low-voltage, yet effective, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) structure capable of mitigating external mechanical disturbances, such as a physical shock. External shock onto MEMS devices can be catastrophic as a conventional single membrane may travel beyond stable oscillatory distances under shock and become irreparably damaged. However, the simple addition of a second membrane on top of the single membrane drastically reduces oscillatory distances by electrostatically holding the bottom membrane within stable oscillation. The added elements, in conjunction with a fine-control algorithm, mitigate the impact of a mechanical shock onto the MEMS device. From experimental findings, it is found that the dual-membrane structure effectively reduces the travel distance of the bottom membrane by 41.5%, upon deploying merely 0.565 V onto the additional membrane. The dynamic implementation of the shock mitigation method, using an on-board accelerometer as a trigger, delivered in-situ mitigation of shock on a dual-membrane MEMS structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number201903
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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