Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Microelectromechanical High Voltage Generator

Technology #2795

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Yogesh B. Gianchandani
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-764-8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
A DC-powered, tunable, fully mechanical oscillator using in-plane electrothermal actuation
17th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, Page 502. 2004


The need for high voltage has limited the adoption of many micromachined devices into integrated microsystems. Miniaturized high voltage sources have been proposed but their adoption would require complicated power management and distribution maneuvers.


This invention describes a DC powered high voltage generator that neither uses transistors nor requires a clock signal for its operation. The system operates on the principle of an induction coil voltage converter and is assembled using a self-oscillating mechanical relay and wire wound inductance. This high voltage generator has been designed with a small footprint and have generator peak voltages > 200V from a single 4V DC supply. An alternate version relies on a transformer to provide electrical isolation and has generated voltages > 500 V with a peak voltage gain 300.

Applications and Advantages


  • Oscillator-based devices.
  • Electrostatic actuators, automotive transducers.
  • Portable electronic devices that-nl-incorporates LCD technology.


  • DC-powered, small in size and does not-nl-require additional electronic components.
  • Operational in a wide range of frequencies-nl-and duty cycles.