MEMS Blog Posts

Piezoelectric Materials: Applying the Standards

James Ransley | January 27, 2016

Previously on the blog, we detailed the standards employed to describe piezoelectric materials. There are two piezoelectric material standards supported in COMSOL Multiphysics: the IRE 1949 standard and the IEEE 1978 standard. Today, we will demonstrate how to set up the orientation of a crystal, specifically an AT cut quartz plate, within both standards.

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Chandan Kumar | October 8, 2015

MEMS resonators are microelectromechanical systems primarily used as sensor elements, filters, and frequency elements. Two common actuation methods for MEMS resonators are piezoelectric actuation and electrostatic actuation. In this blog post, we will discuss the modeling of electrostatically actuated MEMS resonators. When modeling such resonators, you will often come across terms such as equilibrium point, pull-in, pull-in voltage, and time harmonic response of a biased resonator. We will explain these phenomena using a simple representation of an actuator.

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Bridget Cunningham | October 2, 2015

Over the years, energy harvesting has become a popular approach to power small wireless devices. For energy harvesters to yield optimal results, it is important that their design configurations maximize the level of power transfer. Here, we will explore the role of simulation in advancing the design of a piezoelectric energy harvester.

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Caty Fairclough | August 17, 2015

Many aquatic vehicles use power-hungry active sensing methods to detect and identify objects within an oceanic environment. In order to find an energy-efficient alternative, a team of researchers from the PSG College of Technology in India used numerical simulation to investigate a pressure sensor design inspired by a blind cave fish. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this passive MEMS-based pressure sensor.

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Caty Fairclough | July 17, 2015

Microfluidic systems often rely on valveless pumps, as they are both gentle on the biological material and low in the risk of clogging. However, by design, this type of pump is not suitable for viscous fluids and systems with small length scales or low flow rates. To overcome this limitation, you can introduce a micropump mechanism that converts oscillatory fluid motion into a unidirectional net flow.

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Brianne Costa | May 13, 2015

Piezoelectric valves are opened and closed by stacked piezoelectric actuators that are positioned above a seal. By applying a voltage to the stacked piezoelectric actuator, it can be made to expand or contract and the resulting deformation is used to open and close the valve. In this blog post, we feature a tutorial model of a stacked piezoelectric actuator in a pneumatic valve, new with COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.1.

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Alexandra Foley | February 12, 2015

In the paper “Degeneracy Breaking, Modal Symmetry and MEMS Biosensors”, which was presented at the COMSOL Conference 2013 in Rotterdam, researchers experiment with using material and geometric symmetry breaking to design a MEMS biosensor.

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Nikola Strah | January 21, 2015

If you look up at the night sky, especially somewhere far away from city lights, you will see the stars twinkle. While an inspiration for poets and romantics throughout time, the beauty of the starry night sky has also been a challenge to astronomers studying the night sky and the universe. It has led to the development of adaptive optics, which is used nowadays to improve the power of optical systems beyond the obstacles imposed by the optical medium.

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Supratik Datta | December 30, 2014

We have introduced a new interface for simulating piezoelectric devices in version 5.0 of the COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software. This interface aims to achieve several things. In this blog post, I will explain what these things are and how you can use them.

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Bridget Cunningham | December 23, 2014

Surface micromachining is a process used to manufacture MEMS devices, which includes accelerometers. In this blog post, we model the electric field and forces within an accelerometer as well as highlight a new geometry feature available in COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.0.

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Bridget Cunningham | November 6, 2014

With its growing use in numerous applications, the demand for graphene has steadily increased over the years. This heightened interest has prompted new research behind the methods for synthesizing graphene — one of which is chemical vapor deposition. See how one research team used modeling to analyze and enhance the CVD graphene growth mechanism.

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