Because of the inherent nonlinearities involving the behavior of CNTs when excited by electrostatic forces, modeling and simulating their behavior is challenging. The complicated form of the electrostatic force describing the interaction of their cylindrical shape, forming upper electrodes, to lower electrodes poises serious computational challenges. This presents an obstacle against applying and using several nonlinear dynamics tools that typically used to analyze the behavior of complicated nonlinear systems, such as shooting, continuation, and integrity analysis techniques. This works presents an attempt to resolve this issue. We present an investigation of the nonlinear dynamics of carbon nanotubes when actuated by large electrostatic forces. We study expanding the complicated form of the electrostatic force into enough number of terms of the Taylor series. We plot and compare the expanded form of the electrostatic force to the exact form and found that at least twenty terms are needed to capture accurately the strong nonlinear form of the force over the full range of motion. Then, we utilize this form along with an Euler–Bernoulli beam model to study the static and dynamic behavior of CNTs. The geometric nonlinearity and the nonlinear electrostatic force are considered. An efficient reduced-order model (ROM) based on the Galerkin method is developed and utilized to simulate the static and dynamic responses of the CNTs. We found that the use of the new expanded form of the electrostatic force enables avoiding the cumbersome evaluation of the spatial integrals involving the electrostatic force during the modal projection procedure in the Galerkin method, which needs to be done at every time step. Hence, the new method proves to be much more efficient computationally.

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