Abstract

Noise-induced motions are a significant source of uncertainty in the response of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). This is particularly the case for electrostatic MEMS where electrical and mechanical sources contribute to noise and can result in sudden and drastic loss of stability. This paper investigates the effects of noise processes on the stability of electrostatic MEMS via a lumped-mass model that accounts for uncertainty in mass, mechanical restoring force, bias voltage, and AC voltage amplitude. We evaluated the stationary probability density function (PDF) of the resonator response and its basins of attraction in the presence noise and compared them to that those obtained under deterministic excitations only. We found that the presence of noise was most significant in the vicinity of resonance. Even low noise intensity levels caused stochastic jumps between co-existing orbits away from bifurcation points. Moderate noise intensity levels were found to destroy the basins of attraction of the larger orbits. Higher noise intensity levels were found to destroy the basins of attraction of smaller orbits, dominate the dynamic response, and occasionally lead to pull-in. The probabilities of pull-in of the resonator under different noise intensity level are calculated, which are sensitive to the initial conditions.

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