US Patent No. 10,219,364

ELECTROSTATIC MICROTHRUSTER


Patent No. 10,219,364
Issue Date February 26, 2019
Title Electrostatic Microthruster
Inventorship Andrew Paul Dickens, Austin, TX (US)
Assignee NXP USA, Inc., Austin, TX (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,219,364

1. A microplasma generator comprising:a substrate comprising a substrate surface;
a first generation electrode located on the substrate surface; and
a second generation electrode located on the substrate surface, wherein
one of the first and second generation electrode is configured to be a field emitting electrode when a voltage is applied, and
a distance between edges of the first generation electrode and the second generation electrode is such that a plasma can be formed in an ambient gas at a predetermined voltage difference between the first generation electrode and the second generation electrode, wherein the ambient gas is in contact with the substrate surface and at a first pressure;
a first drive electrode located on the substrate surface, wherein the first drive electrode is located closer to the first generation electrode and located external to the region between the first and second generation electrode; and
a second drive electrode located on the substrate surface, wherein
the second drive electrode is located closer to the second generation electrode and located external to the region between the first and second generation electrodes, and
the first and second drive electrodes are located such that an electric field formed between the first and second drive electrodes can attract the plasma to one of the first and second drive electrodes.