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Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York researchers have found a way to improve the performance of tiny sensors that could have wide-reaching implications for electronic devices we use every day.

The study finds a more reliable way to use actuators that control MEMS (), which are microscopic devices with moving parts that are often produced in the same way as electronics.

The Binghamton team found that combining two methods for electrostatic actuation—parallel-plate and levitation actuators—led to a predictable linearity that neither of those systems offered on its own.

This investigation is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation mainly conducted by Ph.D. student Mark Pallay under the supervision of principal investigator Shahrzad (Sherry) Towfighian and co-principal investigator Ronald N. Miles, associate professor and distinguished professor of mechanical engineering, respectively.

The team's findings could be revolutionary for microphone manufacturing, because with this design the signal can be boosted high enough that the from the electronics is no longer an issue. More than 2 billion microphones are made around the world each year, and that number is growing as more devices feature vocal interaction.

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Category: Science