This work reports the measurement and analysis of nonlinear damping of micro-scale actuators immersed in shear thickening fluids (STFs). A power-law damping term is added to the linear second-order model to account for the shear-dependent viscosity of the fluid. This nonlinear model is substantiated by measurements of oscillatory motion of a torsional microactuator. At high actuation forces, the vibration velocity amplitude saturates. The model accurately predicts the nonlinear damping characteristics of the STF using a power-law index extracted from independent rheology experiments. This result reveals the potential to use STFs as adaptive, passive dampers for vibration isolation of microelectromechanical systems.

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