Size-dependent behaviour of electrically actuated microcantilever-based MEMS

Hamed Farokhi, Mergen H. Ghayesh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the nonlinear size-dependent static and dynamic behaviours of a microelectromechanical system under an electric excitation are investigated. A microcantilever is considered for the modelling of the deformable electrode of the MEMS. The governing equation of motion is derived based on the modified couple stress theory (MCST), a non-classical model capable of capturing small-size effects. With the aid of a high-dimensional Galerkin scheme, the nonlinear partial differential equation governing the motion of the deformable electrode is converted into a reduced-order model of the system. Then, the pseudo-arclength continuation technique is used to solve the governing equations. In order to investigate the static behaviour and static pull-in instabilities, the system is excited only by the electrostatic actuation (i.e., a DC voltage). The results obtained for the static pull-in instability predicted by both the classical theory and MCST are compared. In the second stage of analysis, the nonlinear dynamic behaviour of the deformable electrode due to the AC harmonic actuation is investigated around the deflected configuration, incorporating size dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanics and Materials in Design
Issue number3
Early online date15 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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