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Finite Element Modeling of Electro-Mechanical Coupling in Capacitive Micro-Systems

V. Rochus, D.J. Rixen and J.-C. Golinval
University of Liege, BE

nonlinearity, electromechanical coupling, FEM

The aim of this paper is to deal with multi-physics simulation of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based on an advanced numerical methodology. MEMS are very small devices in which electric as well as mechanical and fluid phenomena appear and interact. Because of their microscopic scale, strong coupling effects arise between the different physical fields, and some forces, which were negligible at macroscopic scale, have to be taken into account. In order to accurately design such micro-electro-mechanical systems, it is of primary importance to be able to handle the strong coupling between the electric and the mechanical fields. In this paper, the finite element method (FEM) is used to model the electro-mechanical interactions and to perform modal and transient analyses taking into account large mesh displacements. The application example shown is a micro-bridge consisting in a clamped-clamped beam suspended over a substrate (the lower electrode).

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