This paper presents a theoretical and experimental investigation on the effects of squeeze film damping and electrostatic forces on the shock spectrum of a capacitive accelerometer. For the theoretical part, a single-degree-of-freedom system is used to model the device. Simulation results are demonstrated in a series of shock spectra that help indicate the nonlinear effects on the motion of a MEMS device. When squeeze-film effects are absent, the electrostatic forces soften the microstructure and increase its deflection significantly. A range of shock durations was found in which the microstructure experiences pull-in (pull-in zone). Larger pull-in zones are obtained as we raise the electrostatic force. On the other hand, the presence of squeeze film highly suppresses the deflection of the microstructure in the dynamic range and has minor effects in the quasi-static range. It is found in the other case that the microstructure experiences pull-in in the quasi-static range. Simulation results are compared to experimental data, showing excellent agreement.

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