Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Experimental dynamic trapping of electrostatically actuated bistable micro-beams



Lior Medina, Rivka Gilat, Robert Ilic, Slava Krylov


We demonstrate dynamic snap-through from a primary to a secondary statically inaccessible stable configuration in single crystal silicon, curved, doubly clamped micromechanical beam structures. Nanoscale motion of the fabricated bistable micromechanical devices was transduced using a high speed camera. Our experimental and theoretical results collectively show, that the transition between the two stable states was solely achieved by a tailored time dependent electrostatic actuation. Fast imaging of micromechanical motion allowed for direct visualization of dynamic trapping at the statically inaccessible state. These results further suggest that our direct dynamic actuation transcends prevalent limitations in controlling geometrically non-linear microstructures, and may have applications extending to multi-stable, topologically optimized micromechanical logic and non-volatile memory architectures.
Applied Physics Letters


Curved micro-beam, Tailored electrostatic actuation, Dynamic trapping, Dynamic snap-through, Pull-in, MEMS/NEMS, High speed imaging, Dynamic bistability


Medina, L. , Gilat, R. , Ilic, R. and Krylov, S. (2016), Experimental dynamic trapping of electrostatically actuated bistable micro-beams, Applied Physics Letters, [online],, (Accessed May 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created February 14, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021