An electromechanical model for a transducer based on a lateral resonating cantilever is described. The on-plane vibrations of the cantilever are excited electrostatically by applying DC and AC voltages from a driver electrode placed closely parallel to the cantilever. The model predicts the static deflection and the frequency response of the oscillation amplitude for different voltage polarization conditions. For the electrostatic force calculation the model takes into account the real deflection shape of the cantilever and the contribution to the cantilever-driver capacitance of the fringing field. Both the static and dynamic predictions have been validated experimentally by measuring the deflection of the cantilever by means of an optical microscope. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.