Reliability of MEMS shallow arches based actuator under the combined effect of mechanical shock and electric loads

Hassen M. Ouakad*, Jihad E. AlQasimi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Critical issues for the development of MEMS devices are their performance, reliability and survivability when subjected to unwanted loads, such as when dropped on a hard surface. These active forces can lead to tremendous destruction in these tiny mechanisms, such as stiction and all related short circuit problems in MEMS devices. Investigating the reliability of micro-structures under mechanical shock loads is a challenging job, driven, in part, by the large deflections that exacerbate system nonlinearities, such as those due to geometric (such as mid-plane stretching) and also the actuating nonlinear electric load. The proposed work aims to establish computationally efficient approaches that are capable of analyzing the transient dynamics of bi-stable MEMS devices, such as shallow arches, to mechanical shock and electric loadings. This investigation aims to improve the understanding of how mechanical shock loads can deteriorate the bi-stability of MEMS shallow arches. To this end, a Galerkin expansion reduced-order modeling (ROM) will be exploited. The capability of the ROM in simulating the bi-stable dynamical response of such devices to the combined effect of electrostatic force and shock load is thoroughly studied and analyzed. The ROM is utilized to explore the effect of several design parameters on the dynamic response of initially curved microbeams to shock loads: such as the shock amplitude, the shock duration, the beam initial curvature, and the DC voltage. Universal curves for the snap-through and pull-in voltages thresholds versus shock amplitude for various values of the nondimensional design constraints of the ROM are generated. These curves will present valuable information about the interaction between the shock and electrostatic forces and how to utilize this interaction to build new devices and propose new technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • DC electrostatic actuation
  • Mechanical shock load, dynamic snap-through, dynamic pull-in
  • MEMS
  • Shallow arch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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