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Proceedings Paper

Environmental test bench for reliability studies: influence of the temperature on rf switches with metallic membranes
Author(s): Xavier Lafontan; Christophe Le Touze; Beatrice Wenk; Inna Kolesnik; Francis Pressecq; Guy Perez; Jean-Marc Nicot; Muriel Dardalhon; Sebastien Rigo
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Paper Abstract

RF switches are believed to replace PIN diodes and MESFETs in numerous future RF applications. But most of the actual applications require high reliability and long lifetimes for their devices. As MEMS is a new technology, aging tests and qualification procedures have yet to be demonstrated. MEMSCAP and CNES are developing an environmental test bench for the study of RF switch failure modes. This paper focuses, in particular, on the influence of the temperature in metallic RF switches/ Actually, architectures, such as the metallic air bridge, the membrane switch and the dielectric switch, display good RF performances. We will show in this paper that most of today's switches are sensitive to buckling. In particular, a few tens of degrees Celsius are enough to create a deformation that drives the air bridge switch (in ON or OFF position) to fatal failure. The influence of tensile pre-stress is also studied since it increases the buckling critical temperature. However, the required pre-stress range will degrade significantly the actuation voltage. Finally, stress relaxation structures are believed to decrease the sensitivity to high temperature while keeping a reasonable actuation voltage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4755, Design, Test, Integration, and Packaging of MEMS/MOEMS 2002, (19 April 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.462864
Show Author Affiliations
Xavier Lafontan, MEMSCAP S.A. (France)
Christophe Le Touze, MEMSCAP S.A. (Taiwan)
Beatrice Wenk, MEMSCAP S.A. (Germany)
Inna Kolesnik, MEMSCAP S.A. (France)
Francis Pressecq, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
Guy Perez, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
Jean-Marc Nicot, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
Muriel Dardalhon, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
Sebastien Rigo, Ctr. National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4755:
Design, Test, Integration, and Packaging of MEMS/MOEMS 2002

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