Nonlinear dynamics of MEMS arches under harmonic electrostatic actuation

Mohammad I. Younis, Hassen M. Ouakad, Fadi M. Alsaleem, Ronald Miles, Weili Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


We present an investigation of the nonlinear dynamics of clampedclamped micromachined arches when actuated by a dc electrostatic load superimposed on an ac harmonic load. The Galerkin method is used to discretize the distributed-parameter model of a shallow arch to obtain a reduced-order model. The static response of the arch due to a dc load actuation is simulated, and the results are validated by comparing them to experimental data. The dynamic response of the arch to a combined dc load and ac harmonic load is studied when excited near its fundamental natural frequency, twice its fundamental natural frequency, and near other higher harmonic modes. The results show a variety of interesting nonlinear phenomena, such as hysteresis, softening behavior, dynamic snap-through, and dynamic pull-in. The results are also shown demonstrating the potential to use microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) arches as bandpass filters and low-powered switches. An experimental work is conducted to test arches realized of curved polysilicon microbeams when excited by dc and ac loads. Experimental data are shown for the softening behavior and the dynamic pull-in of the curved microbeams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5456195
Pages (from-to)647-656
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Arches
  • Dynamic pull-in
  • Dynamic snap-through
  • Electrostatic actuation
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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