We develop shunt capacitive RF MEMS switches in III-V technology making use of materials which can be alternative
to the ones commonly used, in order to overcome some technological constraints concerning the RF MEMS reliability.
Specifically, we evaluate the potential of tantalum nitride (TaN) and tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) to be used for the
switches actuation pads and dielectric layers, respectively. To this scope, a compositional, structural and electrical
characterization of TaN and Ta2O5 films as a function of the deposition parameters, such as the substrate temperature and
the sputtering mixture composition, is performed. The realized switches show good actuation voltages, in the range 15-
20 V, an insertion loss better than -0.8 dB up to 30 GHz, and an isolation of ~ -40 dB at the resonant frequency. A
comparison between the measured S-parameter values and the results of a circuit simulation is also presented and
discussed, providing useful information on the operation of the fabricated switches.