This paper presents a new analytical approach for quasi-static modeling of an electrostatically actuated diaphragm compressor that could be employed in a miniature scale refrigeration system. The compressor consists of a flexible circular diaphragm clamped at its circumference. A conformal chamber encloses the diaphragm completely. The membrane and the chamber surfaces are coated with metallic electrodes. A potential difference applied between the diaphragm and the chamber pulls the diaphragm toward the chamber surface progressively from the outer circumference toward the center. This zipping actuation reduces the volume available to the refrigerant gas, thereby increasing its pressure. A segmentation technique is proposed for analysis of the compressor by which the domain is divided into multiple segments for each of which the forces acting on the diaphragm are estimated. The pull-down voltage to completely zip each individual segment is thus obtained. The required voltage for obtaining a specific pressure rise in the chamber can thus be determined. Predictions from the model compare well with other simulation results from the literature, as well as to experimental measurements of the diaphragm displacement and chamber pressure rise in a custom-built setup.

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A. A. Sathe, E. A. Groll, and S. V. Garimella, “Analytical model for an electrostatically actuated miniature diaphragm compressor,” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering Vol. 18, 035010, 2008.