Characterization of the dynamical response of a micromachined G-sensor to mechanical shock loading

Daniel Jordy*, Mohammad I. Younis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Squeeze film damping has a significant effect on the dynamic response of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices that employ perforated microstructures with large planar areas and small gap widths separating them from the substrate. Perforations can alter the effect of squeeze film damping by allowing the gas underneath the device to easily escape, thereby lowering damping. By decreasing the size of the holes, damping increases and the squeeze film damping effect increases. This can be used to minimize the out-ofplane motion of the microstructures toward the substrate, thereby minimizing the possibility of contact and stiction. This paper aims to explore the use of the squeeze film damping phenomenon as a way to mitigate shock and minimize the possibility of stiction and failure in this class of MEMS devices. As a case study, the performance of a G-sensor (threshold accelerometer) employed in an arming and fusing chip is investigated. The effect of changing the size of the perforation holes and the gap width separating the microstructure from the substrate are studied. A multiphysics finite-element model built using the software ANSYS is utilized for the fluidic and transient structural analysis. A squeeze film damping model, for both the air underneath the structure and the flow of the air through the perforations, is developed. Results are shown for various models of squeeze film damping assuming no holes, large holes, and assuming a finite pressure drop across the holes, which is the most accurate way of modeling. It is found that the threshold of shock that causes the G-sensor to contact the substrate has increased significantly when decreasing the holes size or the gap width, which is very promising to help mitigate stiction in this class of devices, thereby improving their reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410031-410039
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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