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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication and characterization of ohmic contacting RF MEMS switches
Author(s): Christopher W. Dyck; Thomas A. Plut; Christopher D. Nordquist; Patrick S. Finnegan; Franklin Austin; Isak C. Reines; Chuck Goldsmith
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Paper Abstract

We have fabricated and characterized radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) ohmic switches for applications in discrete tunable filters and phase shifters over a frequency range of 0 to 20 GHz. Our previously reported cantilever switches have been redesigned for higher isolation and are now achieving 22 dB of isolation at 10 GHz. The measured insertion loss is 0.15 dB at 10 GHz. We have also fabricated and characterized new devices, designated “crab” switches, to increase isolation and contact forces relative to the cantilever design. The measured insertion loss and isolation are 0.1 dB per switch at 20 GHz and 22 dB at 10 GHz, respectively. A simple and accurate equivalent model has been developed, consisting of a transmission line segment and either a series capacitor to represent the blocking state or a series resistor to represent the passing state. Experimental analysis of the switch shows that high contact and substrate capacitive coupling degrades the isolation performance. Simulations indicate that the isolation improves to 30 dB at 10 GHz by reducing these capacitances. The crab switch design has a measured contact force of 120 μN, which represents a factor of four increase over the cantilever switch contact force and results in consistent, low-loss performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5344, MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications, (24 January 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.527984
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher W. Dyck, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Thomas A. Plut, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Christopher D. Nordquist, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Patrick S. Finnegan, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
L&M Technologies (United States)
Franklin Austin, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
The Plus Group (United States)
Isak C. Reines, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Chuck Goldsmith, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
MEMTronics Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5344:
MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications
Siegfried W. Janson; Albert K. Henning, Editor(s)

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