The problem of pull-in instability of a cantilever micro- or nano-switch under electrostatic forces has attracted considerable attention in the literature, given its importance in designing micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS). The non-linear nature of the problem supports the typical approach that relies on numerical or semi-analytical tools to approximate the solution. By contrast, we determine fully analytical upper and lower bounds to the pull-in instability phenomenon for a cantilever beam under the action of electrostatic, van der Waals or Casimir forces. In particular, the novel contribution of this works consists in accounting for size effects analytically, in the spirit of surface elasticity, which adds considerable complication to the problem, allowing for a nonconvex beam deflection. Surface energy effects are generally ignored in classical elasticity. However they become relevant for nano-scale structures due to their high surface/volume ratio. Closed form lower and upper bounds are given for the pull-in characteristics, that allow to discuss the role of several tuneable parameters. Indeed, the evolution of the cantilever tip deflection is presented as a function of the applied voltage up to the occurrence of pull-in and the contribution of van der Waals and Casimir intermolecular interactions is discussed. It is found that intermolecular forces strongly decrease the pull-in voltage, while surface elasticity works in the opposite direction and stabilizes the system. The accuracy of the bounding solutions is generally very good, given that upper and lower analytical bounds are very close to each other, although it decreases as the effect of surface elasticity becomes more pronounced. Finally, approximated closed-form relations are developed to yield simple and accurate design formulae: in particular, they provide estimates for the minimum theoretical gap and for the maximum operable length for a free-standing cantilever in the presence of the effects of surface elasticity and intermolecular interactions. Results may be especially useful for designing and optimizing NEMS switches.

Bounds to the pull-in voltage of a mems/nems beam with surface elasticity / Radi, E.; Bianchi, G.; Nobili, A.. - In: APPLIED MATHEMATICAL MODELLING. - ISSN 0307-904X. - 91:(2021), pp. 1211-1226. [10.1016/j.apm.2020.10.031]

Bounds to the pull-in voltage of a mems/nems beam with surface elasticity

Bianchi G.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The problem of pull-in instability of a cantilever micro- or nano-switch under electrostatic forces has attracted considerable attention in the literature, given its importance in designing micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS). The non-linear nature of the problem supports the typical approach that relies on numerical or semi-analytical tools to approximate the solution. By contrast, we determine fully analytical upper and lower bounds to the pull-in instability phenomenon for a cantilever beam under the action of electrostatic, van der Waals or Casimir forces. In particular, the novel contribution of this works consists in accounting for size effects analytically, in the spirit of surface elasticity, which adds considerable complication to the problem, allowing for a nonconvex beam deflection. Surface energy effects are generally ignored in classical elasticity. However they become relevant for nano-scale structures due to their high surface/volume ratio. Closed form lower and upper bounds are given for the pull-in characteristics, that allow to discuss the role of several tuneable parameters. Indeed, the evolution of the cantilever tip deflection is presented as a function of the applied voltage up to the occurrence of pull-in and the contribution of van der Waals and Casimir intermolecular interactions is discussed. It is found that intermolecular forces strongly decrease the pull-in voltage, while surface elasticity works in the opposite direction and stabilizes the system. The accuracy of the bounding solutions is generally very good, given that upper and lower analytical bounds are very close to each other, although it decreases as the effect of surface elasticity becomes more pronounced. Finally, approximated closed-form relations are developed to yield simple and accurate design formulae: in particular, they provide estimates for the minimum theoretical gap and for the maximum operable length for a free-standing cantilever in the presence of the effects of surface elasticity and intermolecular interactions. Results may be especially useful for designing and optimizing NEMS switches.
2021
Bounds to the pull-in voltage of a mems/nems beam with surface elasticity / Radi, E.; Bianchi, G.; Nobili, A.. - In: APPLIED MATHEMATICAL MODELLING. - ISSN 0307-904X. - 91:(2021), pp. 1211-1226. [10.1016/j.apm.2020.10.031]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2931034
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