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Experimental investigation of parametric and externally forced motion in resonant MEMS sensors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Barry Gallacher, Emeritus Professor James Burdess, Professor Jeffrey Neasham


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In this paper an excitation method employing both harmonic forcing and parametric excitation is applied to a resonant MEMS sensor in order to investigate and characterize the phenomena of parametric resonance and parametric amplification. The motivation for this research is that parametric excitation may be used to significantly reduce the total damping in MEMS sensors in a controllable manner. This is extremely pertinent to devices where the Q-factor is a principal factor in determining sensor performance. In this paper it is shown that, by adjusting the parametric excitation parameters (frequency, amplitude and phase) of an electrostatically actuated and sensed device, the gain of the frequency response function of a mode of vibration may be amplified. The amplification is quantified by the gain factor which is characterized experimentally. The instability regions defining the regions for parametric resonance are also characterized experimentally and compared to theoretical predictions. The boundaries of these instability regions define the thresholds for parametric resonance and play a crucial role in the design of the parametric amplifier.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harish KM, Gallacher BJ, Burdess JS, Neasham JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

Year: 2009

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

ISSN (print): 0960-1317

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6439

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/0960-1317/19/1/015021


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