Mechanical and electromechanical parametric amplifiers have garnered significant interest, as of late, due to the increased need for low-noise signal amplification in resonant micro/nanosystems. While these devices, which are traditionally designed to operate in a linear range, potentially represent an elegant, on-chip amplification solution, it is not readily apparent that this technical approach will suffice in all micro/nanoresonator implementations, due to the scale-dependent nature of a mechanical or electromechanical amplifier’s dynamic range. The present work investigates whether the aforementioned linear dynamic range constraint is truly a practical limitation, by considering the behavior of a representative degenerate parametric amplifier driven within a nonlinear frequency response regime. The work adopts a comparatively simple lumped-mass model for analysis and proceeds with the characterization of pertinent performance metrics, including gain/pump and gain/phase behaviors. Ultimately, the work concludes that parametric amplification can be realized in a nonlinear context, but such implementations generally lead to inferior amplifier performance.

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