Electrostatic comb-drive actuators in electrolytes have many potential applications, including characterizing biological structures. Maximizing the utility of these devices for such applications requires a model capable of accurately predicting their behavior over both micron and submicron scales of displacement. Classic circuit models of these systems assume that the native oxide is a pure dielectric, and that the ion concentration of the bulk electrolyte is constant. We propose augmented models that separately address these assumptions, and analyze their ability to predict the displacement of the electrostatic actuators in electrolytic solutions. We find that the model which removes the assumption that the native oxide is a pure dielectric most accurately predicts comb-drive actuator behavior in electrolytes.

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