Near-Contact Gas Damping and Dynamic Response of High-g MEMS Accelerometer Beams

Devon Parkos, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Nithin Raghunathan, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Ayyaswamy Venkattraman, Purdue University
Brett Sanborn, Purdue University
Weinong Chen, Purdue University
Dimitrios Peroulis, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Alina A. Alexeenko, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



This paper introduces and experimentally validates a new model for near-contact gas damping of microbeams. The model is formulated based on numerical simulations of rarefied gas dynamics using the Boltzmann Ellipsoidal Statistical Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (ES-BGK) equation. The result is compared with existing models by simulating the motion of beams under high-g acceleration. To experimentally validate the damping models, single crystal silicon MEMS g-switches with cantilever microbeams of various lengths were utilized. The experimental measurements of beam dynamics under peak accelerations of approximately 50,000 g and acceleration ramp rates from 600 to 3,000 g/mu s are compared with simulations. Additionally, the damping coefficients are extracted from existing vibrational mode data, and the resulting values are compared to the various models. The new near-contact model was found to predict contact and release times within a root-mean-square deviation from experiment below 9 mu s (


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology