We propose a technique to increase the sensitivity and simplify the process of measuring minute masses using electrostatically-actuated MEMS. The sensor is composed of a cantilever beam connected to a rigid plate at its free end and coupled to an electrode underneath it. The method depends on the observation that the sensitivity of an electrostatically-actuated MEMS is highly enhanced when the driving voltage is close to the pull-in limit. We study two cases: the device actuated by a static force (DC voltage) and a dynamic force (combined AC and DC voltage). Sensitivity analysis is used to estimate the minimum detectable mass near static pull-in and near a dynamic pull-in point due to a cyclic-fold bifurcation.

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