Dynamic analysis of variable-geometry electrostatic microactuators Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper investigates the dynamic behavior of a microbeam-based electrostatic microactuator. The cross-section of the microbeam under consideration varies along its length. A mathematical model, accounting for the system nonlinearities due to mid-plane stretching and electrostatic forcing, is adopted and used to examine the microbeam dynamics. The differential quadrature method (DQM) and finite difference method (FDM) are used to discretize the partial-differential-integral equation and generate frequency-response curves for various microstructure geometries and different voltages. We show that the use of the DQM, with a few grid points, in conjunction with the FDM applied to the space derivatives and time derivatives, respectively, yields excellent convergence of the dynamic solutions. The stability of these solutions is examined using Floquet theory. Results are presented to display the dynamics and the effect of variable geometry on the frequency-response curves of the microstructure. We first demonstrate convergence of the DQM-FDM discretized dynamics model as the number of grid points is varied from 5 to 13, while the number of time steps in one time period is fixed at 100. The proposed DQM-FDM discretized dynamic model is then compared to recently reported models. We show that the shape of the frequency-response curves of the microbeam, excited near its first natural frequency, is very sensitive to the approximations employed in the construction of the model. Finally, we examine the effect of varying the gap size and the microbeam thickness and width on its frequency-response curves for hardening-type and softening-type behaviors. 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

author list (cited authors)

  • Najar, F., Choura, S., Abdel-Rahman, E. M., El-Borgi, S., & Nayfeh, A.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006 11:11 AM