Tailoring the nonlinear response of MEMS resonators using shape optimization

Lily L. Li, Pavel M. Polunin, Suguang Dou, Oriel Shoshani, B. Scott Strachan, Jakob S. Jensen, Steven W. Shaw, Kimberly L. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We demonstrate systematic control of mechanical nonlinearities in micro-electromechanical (MEMS) resonators using shape optimization methods. This approach generates beams with non-uniform profiles, which have nonlinearities and frequencies that differ from uniform beams. A set of bridge-type microbeams with selected variable profiles that directly affect the nonlinear characteristics of in-plane vibrations was designed and characterized. Experimental results have demonstrated that these shape changes result in more than a three-fold increase and a two-fold reduction in the Duffing nonlinearity due to resonator mid-line stretching. The manipulation of this nonlinearity has significant interest in many applications, including precise mass sensing, accurate measurement of angular rates, and timekeeping.

Original languageEnglish
Article number081902
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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