Microbeam Dynamics with Varying Force Model

By Saagar Unadkat

Purdue University

Simulate the dynamics of microbeams with Knudsen Forces, Electrostatic and G-Forces.

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Version 1.0 - published on 24 Mar 2014

doi:10.4231/D3SJ19R2Q cite this

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Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) are systems made from small components to complete a bigger goal. Some of these components can be modeled as small beams, which are anchored at both sides, or as cantilever beams anchored on one side. These beams can be subjected to various forces such as Knudsen forces, electrostatic forces as well as G- loading. These devices have many applications such as sensors, actuators and even as accelerometers for airbags, smart phones and game controllers. Modeling the dynamics of these beams is an important task for the MEMS community, consisting of researchers, fabricators, and designers working on one of the many applications of MEMS, and they will benefit from having a tool that can model this motion. The beam dynamics discussed in this work were simulated on nanohub.org by using the RAPPTURE tool, created by Michael Mclennan et al., in order to design the graphical user interface for the modeling program. This tool uses a nondimensional, explicit solver to analyze the dynamics of the beams. This tool is able to simulate the dynamics of microbeams that are subjected to one of many forces. This tool is able to simulate the dynamics of cantilever microbeams with acceleration, electrostatic and Knudsen forces acting on it.


Created under the guidance of Dr. Alina Alexeenko and Devon Parkos Andrew Strongrich for providing the code necessary to perform the microbeam analysis with Knudsen Forces acting on the beam. Support from the RAPPTURE team. Special thanks to Mr. Derrick Kearney. Nithin Raghunathan for helping to understand some of the needs for the tool to be useful to the MEMS researchers.

Sponsored by

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship & PRISM: Center for Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems for funding this research.


Devon Parkos, Nithin Raghunathan, Ayyaswamy Venkattraman, Brett Sanborn, Weinong Chen, Dimitrios Peroulis, and Alina Alexeenko. "Near-Contact Gas Damping and Dynamic Response of High-g MEMS Accelerometer Beams ." Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems. VOL. 1, NO. 1 (2013). A. Venkattraman and, A. Alexeenko, “Simulations of impulsive Dynamics in rf mems capacitive switches,” International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, 2011. Rebeiz, Gabriel M. RF MEMS: Theory, Design, and Technology. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley, 2003.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Saagar Unadkat (2014), "Microbeam Dynamics with Varying Force Model," https://nanohub.org/resources/beamdyn. (DOI: 10.4231/D3SJ19R2Q).

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