The response of clamped-clamped microbeams under mechanical shock

Mohammad I. Younis*, Fadi Alsaleem, Daniel Jordy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


We present modeling, simulation, and characterization for the dynamic response of clamped-clamped microbeams under mechanical shock. A Galerkin-based reduced-order model is utilized and its results are verified by comparing to finite-element results. The results indicate that the response of a microbeam to mechanical shock is inherently non-linear because of the dominating effect of mid-plane stretching. The effect of the shock pulse shape is investigated. It is concluded that the shape of the shock pulse can result in significant dynamic amplification in the response of the microbeam even in cases where the shock load is considered quasi-static. The combined effect of the electrostatic force and mechanical shock is investigated. The results show that this combined effect can lead to early instability in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices through dynamic pull-in. This could explain some of the reported experimental evidences for the existence of strange modes of failure of MEMS devices under mechanical shock and impact. These failures are characterized by overlaps between moving microstructures and stationary electrodes, which cause electrical shorts. The shock-electrostatic interaction is shown to be promising to design smart MEMS switches triggered at predetermined level of shock and acceleration. Finally, the mechanical shock combined with the packaging effect of MEMS devices is analyzed. A single-degree-of-freedom model representing the motion of the package, which is mounted over a printed circuit board, coupled with the continuous beam model is utilized. Our results reveal that neglecting the effect of the package motion on the response of microbeams can overestimate or underestimate their response. It is concluded that a poor design of the package may result in severe amplification of the shock effect leading to a device failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-657
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Clamped-clamped microbeam
  • Electrostatic actuation
  • MEMS package
  • Reliability of MEMS
  • Shock and impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'The response of clamped-clamped microbeams under mechanical shock'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this