Rippling effect on the structural response of electrostatically actuated single-walled carbon nanotube based NEMS actuators

Hassen M. Ouakad, Hamid Mohammad Sedighi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Several nonlinear phenomena have shown to have significant effect on the electromechanical performance of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) based nanoelectromechanical (NEMS) devices. To name few: the van der Waals forces, the Casimir forces, the tip charge concentration and the rippling phenomenon. Some of these effects have been take care of in previous investigation; however, some have been disregarded in the mechanical models suggested for simulation of the SWCNT based structures. In this paper, the influence of rippling deformation on the vibration characteristics of SWCNT based actuators is investigated using a nonlinear Euler-Bernoulli beam theory that incorporates the effect of rippling deformation using an improved function including some correcting terms for the SWCNT curvature (rippling deformation). The influence of the Casimir and the van der Waals attraction forces are considered in the proposed model as well as the size-dependent behavior assuming the so-called Eringen nonlocal elasticity theory. The dynamic response of CNT is investigated based on time history and phase portrait plots of the CNT based nano-actuator. It is shown that the rippling deformation can significantly decrease the static as well as the dynamic pull-in voltage of the SWCNT based actuator. The rippling deformation of SWCNT decreases the dynamic pull-in time as well. Effect of various factors such as the DC actuation load and the Casimir attractive forces on the dynamic stability and the pull-in characteristics of the nano-actuator are examined. Results of the present study are beneficial to accurate design and fabrication of electromechanical CNT based actuators. Comparison between the obtained results and those reported in the literature by experiments and molecular dynamics, verifies the integrity of the present numerical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Casimir forces
  • Nano-actuator
  • Pull-in voltage
  • Rippling deformation
  • Single-walled carbon nanotube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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