2013 Volume 4 Issue 3 Pages 198-224
Many applications of microelectromechanical systems utilize mechanical vibratory motion. A number of interesting dynamical effects occur in these minimally damped, precisely manufactured devices. These effects can be caused by the structural mechanics, the actuation mechanism, or both. One such phenomenon, parametric resonance, occurs when displacement-dependent forcing is present in the microsystem. This paper reviews the key dynamic effects, and summarizes some of the development of devices that utilize parametric resonance or parametric amplification. In addition, signal-to-noise issues are discussed with respect to the ultimate sensitivity of mass sensors that use parametric resonance, and strategies for obtaining the highest sensitivity are presented. Here the authors describe parametric resonance phenomenon as a dynamical system, review its experimental observation in microsystems, and conclude by discussing the various applications.