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18 February 2011 Reliability enhancement of Ohmic RF MEMS switches
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This contribution deals with capacitively actuated Ohmic switches in series single pole single throw (SPST) configuration for DC up to 4 GHz signal frequency (<0.5 dB insertion loss, 35 dB isolation) and in shunt switch SPST configuration for a frequency range from DC up to 80 GHz (<1.2 dB insertion loss, 18 dB isolation at 60 GHz). A novel high aspect ratio MEMS fabrication sequence in combination with wafer level packaging is applied for fabrication of the samples and allows for a relatively large actuation electrode area, and for high actuation force resulting in fast onresponse time of 10 μs and off-response time of 6 μs at less than 5 V actuation voltage. Large actuation electrode area and a particular design feature for electrode over travel and dynamic contact separation lead to high contact force in the closed state and to high force for contact separation to overcome sticking. The switch contacts, which are consisting of noble metal, are made in one of the latest process steps. This minimizes contamination of the contact surfaces by fabrication sequence residuals. A life time of 1 Billion switch cycles has been achieved. This paper covers design for reliability issues and reliability test methods using accelerated life time test. Different test methods are combined to examine electric and mechanical motion parameters as well as RF performance.
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Steffen Kurth, Stefan Leidich, Andreas Bertz, Markus Nowack, Jörg Frömel, Christian Kaufmann, Wolfgang Faust, Thomas Gessner, Akira Akiba, and Koichi Ikeda "Reliability enhancement of Ohmic RF MEMS switches", Proc. SPIE 7928, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices X, 79280C (18 February 2011);


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