Nonlinear Actuation Dynamics of Driven Casimir Oscillators with Rough Surfaces

Wijnand Broer*, Holger Waalkens, Vitaly Svetovoy, Jasper Knoester, Georgios Palasantzas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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At separations below 100 nm, Casimir-Lifshitz forces strongly influence the actuation dynamics of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in dry vacuum conditions. For a micron-size plate oscillating near a surface, which mimics a frequently used setup in experiments with MEMS, we show that the roughness of the surfaces significantly influences the qualitative dynamics of the oscillator. Via a combination of analytical and numerical methods, it is shown that surface roughness leads to a clear increase of initial conditions associated with chaotic motion, that eventually lead to stiction between the surfaces. Since stiction leads to a malfunction of MEMS oscillators, our results are of central interest for the design of microdevices. Moreover, stiction is of significance for fundamentally motivated experiments performed with MEMS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054016
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25-Nov-2015



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