AC polarization for charge-drift elimination in resonant electrostatic MEMS and oscillators

Gaurav Bahl, James C. Salvia, Renata Melamud, Bongsang Kim, Roger T. Howe, Thomas W. Kenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes the use of ac polarization for resonant electrostatic microelectromechanical systems that eliminates the frequency drift caused by dielectric charging and charge screening. It is mathematically and experimentally shown that an ac-polarized resonator can sustain stable oscillations when used in a positive feedback oscillator circuit. We also demonstrate an oscillator topology that generates a drift-free reference frequency tone with this technique in spite of using a resonator that exhibits large frequency drifts under dc polarization. Long-term data are presented for these drift-susceptible devices, showing a significant improvement in frequency stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5699896
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • AC biasing
  • charging
  • dielectrics
  • drift
  • frequency stability
  • oscillators
  • resonators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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