15 October 2012 Gamma-ray irradiation of ohmic MEMS switches
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Abstract
Radio Frequency (RF) Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) switches are becoming important building blocks for a variety of military and commercial applications including switch matrices, phase shifters, electronically scanned antennas, switched filters, Automatic Test Equipment, instrumentation, cell phones and smart antennas. Low power consumption, large ratio of off-impedance to on-impedance, extreme linearity, low mass, small volume and the ability to be integrated with other electronics makes MEMS switches an attractive alternative to other mechanical and solid-state switches for a variety of space applications. Radant MEMS, Inc. has developed an electrostatically actuated broadband ohmic microswitch that has applications from DC through the microwave region. Despite the extensive earth based testing, little is known about the performance and reliability of these devices in space environments. To help fill this void, we have irradiated our commercial-off-the-shelf SPST, DC to 40 GHz MEMS switches with gamma-rays as an initial step to assessing static impact on RF performance. Results of Co-60 gamma-ray irradiation of the MEMS switches at photon energies ≥ 1.0 MeV to a total dose of ~ 118 krad(Si) did not show a statistically significant post-irradiation change in measured broadband, RF insertion loss, insertion phase, return loss and isolation.
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John J. Maciel, John J. Maciel, James L. Lampen, James L. Lampen, Edward W. Taylor, Edward W. Taylor, } "Gamma-ray irradiation of ohmic MEMS switches", Proc. SPIE 8519, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VI, 851903 (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928982; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.928982
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