Micro- and nanolectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) incorporating two-dimensional structural elements such as plates attracted significant interest in recent years. In this work, we explore implementation of a model based on Berger’s approximation, which significantly simplifies the formulation of a curved plate and describes it by a single governing equation. The solution of this equation is based on the Galerkin decomposition with buckling modes of an initially flat plate used as the base functions. To track the unstable branches of the equilibrium curve, a continuous method based on the Riks algorithm is implemented. The validation of the models is conducted for two loading cases, “mechanical” deflection-independent load, and electrostatic displacement-dependent load. In the case of an initially flat plate, results provided by the reduced order (RO) Galerkin models were compared to results available in the literature. In the case of a curved plate undergoing “mechanical” loading, results of a direct finite elements (FE) analysis, as well as of a finite differences (FD) analysis, were used as a reference. We show that the DOF Berger RO model can be conveniently used for analysis of plates with small curvature, as it provides satisfactory accuracy. Further more, a single DOF model can be used for the development of a bistability criterion.

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