Dynamic pull-in phenomenon in MEMS resonators

Ali H. Nayfeh*, Mohammad I. Younis, Eihab M. Abdel-Rahman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

436 Scopus citations


We study the pull-in instability in microelectromechanical (MEMS) resonators and find that characteristics of the pull-in phenomenon in the presence of AC loads differ from those under purely DC loads. We analyze this phenomenon, dubbed dynamic pull-in, and formulate safety criteria for the design of MEMS resonant sensors and filters excited near one of their natural frequencies. We also utilize this phenomenon to design a low-voltage MEMS RF switch actuated with a combined DC and AC loading. The new switch uses a voltage much lower than the traditionally used DC voltage. Either the frequency or the amplitude of the AC loading can be adjusted to reduce the driving voltage and switching time. The new actuation method has the potential of solving the problem of high driving voltages of RF MEMS switches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-163
Number of pages11
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Electric actuation
  • MEMS
  • Microbeams
  • Primary resonance
  • Pull-in
  • Resonators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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