The effects of tine coupling and geometrical imperfections on the response of DETF resonators

Creative Commons License

AZGIN K., Valdevit L.

JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING, vol.23, no.12, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


This paper presents a two-degree-of-freedom analytical model for the electromechanical response of double ended tuning fork (DETF) force sensors. The model describes the mechanical interaction between the tines and allows investigation of the effect of a number of asymmetries, in tine stiffness, mass, electromechanical parameters and load sharing between the tines. These asymmetries are introduced during fabrication (e. g., as a result of undercut) and are impossible to completely eliminate in a practical design. The mechanical coupling between the tines induces a frequency separation between the in-phase and the out-of-phase resonant modes. The magnitude of this separation and the relative intensity of the two modes are affected by all the asymmetries mentioned above. Two key conclusions emerge: (i) as the external axial compressive load is increased, the in-phase mode reaches zero frequency (buckling) much faster than the out-of-phase (i. e., operational) mode, resulting in a device with a decreased load range. (ii) During the operation, balanced excitation is essential to guarantee that the out-of-phase mode remain significantly stronger than the in-phase mode, thus allowing sharp phase locked loop locking and hence robust performance. The proposed model can be used to assess the magnitude of asymmetries introduced by a given manufacturing process and accurately predict the performance of DETF force sensors. For the specific sensor characterized in this study, the proposed model can capture the full dynamic response of the DETF and accurately predict its maximum axial compressive load; by contrast, the conventional single-DOF model does not capture peak splitting and overpredicts the maximum load by similar to 18%. The proposed model fits the measured frequency response of the electromechanical system and its load-frequency data with coefficient of determination (R-2) of 95.4% (0.954) and 99.2% (0.992), respectively.