We introduce a capacitive MEMS filter that uses electrostatic levitation for actuation and sensing. The advantage of this electrode configuration is that it does not suffer from the pull-in instability and therefore tremendously high voltages can be applied to this system. A large sensing voltage will produce a large output signal, which boosts the signal to noise ratio. The filter outputs about a 110mV peak-to-peak signal when operated at 175V, and can be boosted to 175mV by increasing the voltage to 250V. Because pull-in is eliminated, voltages much higher than 250V can be applied. An outline of the filter design and operating principle is discussed. A model of the filter is derived and analyzed to show the mechanical response and approximate peak-to-peak signal output. This study shows the feasibility of a capacitive sensor that is based on electrostatic levitation, and outlines the advantages it has over traditional parallel-plate electrode configurations. This design is promising for signal signal processing applications where large strokes are important.

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