Controlling bistability in microelectromechanical resonators

Qingfei Chen, Liang Huang, Ying-Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


For a microelectromechanical (MEM) resonator, the combination of mechanical nonlinearity and electrical driving force can lead to bistability. In such a case, the system exhibits two coexisting stable oscillatory states (attractors): one with low and another with high energy. Under the influence of noise, with high probability the system can be perturbed into the low-energy state. We propose a robust control scheme to place the system in the high-energy state. Our idea is not to pull the system out of the bistable regime but instead to take advantage of the nonlinear dynamics to achieve high-energy output. In particular, our control scheme consists of two steps: bifurcation control that temporarily drives the system to a regime with only one attractor, one that is the continuation of the high-energy attractor in the bistable regime; and ramping parameter control that restores the bistability while maintaining the system in the high-energy attractor. We derive an analytic theory to guide the control, provide numerical examples, and suggest a practical method to realize the control experimentally. Our result may find potential usage in devices based on MEM resonators where high output energy is desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013103
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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