Compliant mechanism based nonlinear spring design for inducing mode coupling

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Mode coupling has extensive use in the MEMS field, including frequency division, vibration direction conversion, and energy transfer. In practice, these applications can be used to improve the performance of various devices such as sensors and energy harvesters. Nonlinear spring also has a wide application in MEMS field. Various nonlinear spring mechanisms, such as fixed-angle bows, bistable rotational mechanisms, H-shaped springs, and topology-optimized planar springs, have been proposed and utilized. Nevertheless, there is a lack of non-electric design elements specifically designed for mode coupling. This thesis proposes a simple system demonstrating the feasibility of using a nonlinear spring to achieve mode coupling. The system incorporates a spring-mass system with two mass blocks, two linear stages, and a unique nonlinear spring compliant mechanism. The integrated components can be fabricated using 3D printing resin or high-precision femtosecond laser-cutting of silicon wafers. Additionally, a new crank-slider structure and a spline-shaped nonlinear spring are developed and studied for this system. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and is suitable for systems of different sizes and materials respectively. Their load-displacement relationship roughly satisfies the cubic relationship, but still has a linear term. The proposed system holds potential for enhancing the performance of sensors, energy harvesters, and other MEMS devices.