Electrically actuated MEMS resonators: Effects of fringing field and viscoelasticity

Hamed Farokhi, Mergen H. Ghayesh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the nonlinear electromechanical response of a MEMS resonator numerically. A nonlinear continuous multi-physics model of the MEMS resonator is developed taking into account the effects of fringing field, size, residual axial load, and viscoelasticity. Moreover, both longitudinal and transverse motions are accounted for in the system modelling and simulations. The equations of motion of the MEMS resonator are obtained employing Hamilton's principle together with the modified version of the couple stress based theory (to account for size effects) and the Kelvin-Voigt model (to account for nonlinear energy dissipation). The Meijs-Fokkema electrostatic load formula is used to reliably model the fringing field effects. The continuous multi-physics model, consisting of geometrical, electrical, and viscos nonlinearities is discretised via a weighted-residual method, yielding a set of nonlinearly coupled ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The resultant set of ODEs is solved numerically when the microresonator is actuated by a biased DC voltage and an AC voltage. The results of the numerical simulations are presented in the form of DC voltage-deflection, DC voltage-natural frequency, and AC frequency-displacement diagrams. The effects of fringing field, residual axial load, small-scale, and nonlinear energy dissipation are highlighted. It is shown that fringing field effects are significant on both static and dynamic electromechanical responses of the MEMS resonator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-362
Number of pages18
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Early online date6 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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