Date of Award
Master of Science
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Tod V. Laurvik, PhD
Presented is the first iteration of a Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) dual vertical electrometer and electric field-mill (EFM). The device uses a resonating structure as a variable capacitor that converts the presence of a charge or field into an electric signal. Previous MEMS electrometers are lateral electrometers with laterally spaced electrodes that resonate tangentially with respect to each other. Vertical electrometers, as the name suggests, have vertically spaced electrodes that resonate transversely with respect to each other. The non-tangential movement reduces damping in the system. Both types demonstrate comparable performance, but the vertical electrometer does so at a fraction of the size. In addition, vertical electrometers can efficiently operate as an electric field sensor. The electric field sensor simulations did not compare as well to other MEMS electric field sensors. However, the dual nature of this device makes it appealing. These devices can be used in missiles and satellites to monitor charge buildup in electronic components and the atmosphere . Future iterations can improve these devices and give way to inexpensive, high-resolution electrostatic charge and field sensors.
DTIC Accession Number
Underwood, George C., "A MEMS Dual Vertical Electrometer and Electric Field-Mill" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 2288.