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Proceedings Paper

Experimental and theoretical investigation of contact resistance and reliability of lateral contact type ohmic MEMS relays
Author(s): Lia Almeida; Koji Ishikawa; Q. Yu; R. Jackson; R. Ramadoss
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Paper Abstract

Reliability of electrostatically actuated ohmic contact type MEMS relays has been investigated. Multi-contact MEMS relays using electrostatic comb-drive actuators has been used in this study. The MEMS relays were fabricated using MetalMUMPs process, which uses 20 μm thick electroplated Nickel as the structural layer. A 3 μm thick gold layer was electroplated at the electrical contact surfaces. The overall size of the relay is approximately 3 mm x 3 mm. The relay consists of a movable main beam anchored to the substrate using two identical folded suspension springs. RF ports consist of five movable fingers connected to the movable main beam and six fixed fingers anchored to the substrate. Comb-drive actuators located at the top and bottom ends of the main beam enable bi-directional actuation of the RF contacts. An example MEMS relay with planar contacts of area 80 μm x 20 μm and a spacing of 10 μm between the movable and fixed contacting surfaces is discussed. Resistance versus applied voltage characteristics has been studied. For an applied DC bias voltage of 172 V, the movable fingers make contact with the fixed fingers. The resistance versus applied voltage characteristics has been measured for an applied bias voltage in the range of 172 V to 220 V. A multiscale rough surface contact model was used to estimate the actual electrical contact resistance versus applied force curve of these devices. Reliability testing has been carried out and the resistance variation of the MEMS relay over 80 x 105 actuation cycles has been measured.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 January 2006
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6111, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS V, 61110F (6 January 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.659785
Show Author Affiliations
Lia Almeida, Auburn Univ. (United States)
Koji Ishikawa, Yokahama National Univ. (Japan)
Q. Yu, Yokahama National Univ. (Japan)
R. Jackson, Auburn Univ. (United States)
R. Ramadoss, Auburn Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6111:
Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS V
Danelle M. Tanner; Rajeshuni Ramesham, Editor(s)

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