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Title:  Effect Of Squeeze Film Flow On Dynamic Response Of MEMS Structures With Restrictive Flow Boundary Conditions 
Authors:  Shishir Kumar, * 
Advisors:  Pratap, Rudra 
Keywords:  Microelectromechanical Systems Squeeze Film Damping Squeeze Films MEMS Device MEMS Devices  Sqeeze Film Damping Fluid Flow Damping MEMS Devices  Fluid Damping Squeeze Film Stiffness Squeeze Film Flow 
Submitted Date:  Jun2010 
Series/Report no.:  G23830 
Abstract:  There are many ways in which the surrounding media, such as air between an oscillating MEMS structure and a fixed substrate, can affect the dynamic response of a MEMS transducer. Some of these effects involve dissipation while others involve energy transfer. Transverse oscillations of a planar structure can cause a lateral air flow in small gaps that results in pressure gradients. The forces due to the built–up pressure are always against the vibration of the structure and have characteristics of damper and stiffener. In this work, we study the squeeze film phenomenon due to the interaction between the air–film and the structure in the presence of restrictive flow boundary conditions. It is known that the squeeze film damping due to the air trapped between the oscillating MEMS structure and the fixed substrate often contributes to maximum energy dissipation. We carry out an analysis to estimate damping and stiffness in cases with restrictive flow boundaries in dynamic MEMS devices. While the studies reported in the present work address fluid flow damping with restrictive flow boundaries, the analysis of airflow shows another important phenomenon of enhanced airspring stiffness. This study is discussed separately in the context of spring stiffening behavior in MEMS devices exhibiting squeeze film phenomenon.
First a theoretical framework for modeling squeeze film flow is established and this is followed with analytical and numerical solutions of problems involving squeeze film phenomenon. Modeling of squeeze film effects under different flow conditions is carried out using Reynold’s equation. The problem of squeeze film damping in MEMS transducers
is more involved due to the complexities arising from different boundary conditions of the fluid flow. In particular, we focus our attention on estimation of damping in restricted flow boundaries such as only one side vented and no side vented passive boundary conditions. Damping coefficient for these cases are extracted when the fluid is subjected to an input velocity profile according to a specific mode shape at a given frequency of oscillation. We also explain the squeeze film flow in restricted boundaries by introducing the concept of passive and active boundary conditions and analyzing the pressure gradients which are related to the compressibility of the air in the cavity. Passive boundary conditions is imposed by specifying the free flow or no flow along one of the edges of the cavity, whereas, active boundary condition is imposed by the velocity profile being specified at the interface of the cavity with the oscillating structure.
Some micromechanical structures, such as pressure sensors and ultrasound transducers use fully restricted or closed boundaries where the damping for such cases, even if small, is very important for the determination of the Q–factor of these devices. Our goal here is to understand damping due to flow in such constrained spaces. Using computational fluid dynamics (ANSYS–FLOTRAN), the case of fully restricted boundaries is studied in detail to study the effect of important parameters which determines the fluid damping, such as flow length of the cavity, air–gap height, frequency of oscillations and the operating pressure in the cavity. A simulation strategy is developed using macros programming which overcomes some of the limitations of the existing techniques and proves useful in imposing a non–uniform velocity and the extraction of damping coefficient corresponding to the flexibility of the structure in specific oscillation modes. Rarefaction effects are also accounted for in the FEM model by introducing the flow rate coefficient, or, alternatively using the concept of effective viscosity. The analysis carried out for the fully restricted case is motivated by the analytical modeling of squeeze film phenomenon for a wide range of different restricted boundaries, and analyzing the resulting pressure gradient patterns. We show that significant damping exists even in fully restricted boundaries due to lateral viscous flow. This is contrary to known reported results, which neglect damping in such cases. The result indicates that in fully restrictive fluid flow boundaries or in a closed cavity, air damping cannot be neglected at lower oscillation frequencies and large flow length to airgap ratio if the active boundary has a nonuniform velocity profile.
Analysis of airflow in the case of restricted flow boundaries shows another important phenomenon of enhanced airspring stiffness. It is found that fluid film stiffness has a nonlinear dependence on various parameters such as airgap to length ratio, fluid flow boundary conditions and the frequency of oscillation. We carry out analysis to obtain the dynamic response of MEMS devices where it is significantly affected by the frequency dependent stiffness component of the squeeze film. We show these effects by introducing frequency dependent stiffness in the equation of motion, and taking examples of fluid boundary conditions with varying restriction on flow conditions. The stiffness interaction between the fluid and the structure is shown to depend critically on stiffness ratios, and the cutoff frequency. It is also inferred that for a given air–gap to flow length ratio, the spring behaviour of the air is independent of the flow boundary conditions at very high oscillation frequencies. Hence, we limit our focus on studying the effect of fluid stiffness in the regime where it is not fully compressible. For nonresonant devices, this study finds its utility in tuning the operating frequency range while for resonant devices it can be useful to predict the exact response. We show that it is possible to design or tune the operating frequency range or shift the resonance of the system by appropriate selection of the fluid flow boundary conditions.
The emphasis of the present work has been toward studying the effect of squeeze film flow on dynamic response of MEMS structures with restrictive flow boundary conditions. Estimation of energy dissipation due to viscous flow cannot be ignored in the design of MEMS which comprise of restricted flow boundaries. We also remark that modeling of a system with squeeze film flow of the trapped air in terms of frequency independent parameters, viz. damping and stiffness coefficient, is unlikely to be very accurate and may be of limited utility in specific cases. Although the central interest in studying squeeze film phenomenon is on the damping characteristics because of their direct bearing on energy dissipation or Q–factor of a MEMS device, the elastic behaviour of the film also deserves attention while considering restrictive flow boundary conditions. 
Abstract file URL:  http://etd.ncsi.iisc.ernet.in/abstracts/1653/G23830Abs.pdf 
URI:  http://hdl.handle.net/2005/1272 
Appears in Collections:  Mechanical Engineering (mecheng)

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