16 May 2005 Design, fabrication, and simulation of cantilever-type electrostatic micromechanical switch
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A cantilever-type electrostatically actuated microelectromechanical (MEMS) switch and its fabrication technology have been developed for the first time in Lithuania, in Kaunas University of Technology. The microdevices were fabricated using nickel surface micromachining technology on substrates made of semiconductor (silicon) and insulator materials (quarts and ceramics). The microswitch consists of cantilevered nickel structure suspended over actuation and contact electrodes. The width of the cantilever contacting element is 30 μm, thickness is about 2.0 μm and length ranges from 67 to 150 μm. Implementation of microswitches as a substitute for present switching devices poses many problems. In particular lower switching speed and reduced lifetime are considered to be among the most significant ones. These characteristics are determined both by design and dynamic phenomena that are taking place during its operation. Specifically, when the microswitch closes, it bounces several times before making permanent contact. These impact interactions greatly influence microswitch durability and switching speed. With the aim of improving these parameters a comprehensive finite element model is being developed that takes into account not only electrostatic actuation and squeeze-film damping effects but also describes important dynamic phenomena - impact interactions that take place during switching. Experimental research of electrical and dynamic characteristics is also carried out with the purpose of device model validation and correction. The paper presents design and fabrication process of the developed microswitch as well as initial simulation and measurement results.
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Vytautas Ostasevicius, Vytautas Ostasevicius, Rolanas Dauksevicius, Rolanas Dauksevicius, Sigitas Tamulevicius, Sigitas Tamulevicius, Algimantas Bubulis, Algimantas Bubulis, Viktoras Grigaliunas, Viktoras Grigaliunas, Arvydas Palevicius, Arvydas Palevicius, "Design, fabrication, and simulation of cantilever-type electrostatic micromechanical switch", Proc. SPIE 5763, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, (16 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.599111; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.599111

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