This research presents a novel linearly tunable MEMS capacitor with flexible electrode and modified structural stiffness. The capacitor is designed for PolyMUMPs as a standard three-structural-layer fabrication process. The moving electrode is divided into segments interconnected through torsional springs. Under each connecting point (node) two flexible and rigid steps are located. The flexible steps are cantilever beams, and as the bias voltage increases, they touch their corresponding nodes and consequently their stiffnesses are added to the total structural stiffness. This is the core idea of the proposed design to linearize the capacitance-voltage (C-V) response. An analytical model is developed to investigate the behavior of the new capacitor. In this model, the governing equations of the capacitor are numerically solved to obtain the system’s C-V response. An optimization problem with different design variables, such as dimensions of the segments or the beams stiffness coefficients, is solved to maximize the linearity of the C-V curves. The numerical results demonstrate drastic improvement in capacitors performance, where a highly linear C-V response and a maximum tunability of 94% is reached.

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