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Proceedings Paper

Effect of electro-thermo-mechanical coupling on the short-circuit in RF microswitch operation
Author(s): E. Brusa; M. Gh. Munteanu
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Paper Abstract

A phenomenological approach is herein followed to describe several superimposed effects occurring within the structure of microswitch for radio frequency application (RF-MEMS). This device is operated via a nonlinear electromechanical action imposed by applied voltage. Unfortunately, it is usually affected by residual stress, after microfabrication, therefore axial and flexural behaviors are coupled. This coupling increases actuation voltage to achieve the so-called "pull-in" condition. Moreover, temperature may strongly affect strain and stress distributions, respectively. Environmental temperature, internal dissipation of material, thermo-elastic and Joule effects play different roles on the microswitch flexural displacement. Sometimes buckling phenomenon evenly occurs. Finally, if stress concentration on microbeam cross section is sufficiently large, plastic behavior may arise. All those aspects make difficult an effective computation of pull-in voltage, understanding actual behavior of microsystem, particularly when several loading cycles are applied, and predicting its life. Analysis, experiments and numerical methods are herein applied to test case suggested by industry to investigate step by step the microswitch operation. Effects on pull-in and switch contact are investigated. Multiple electro-thermo-mechanical coupling is finally modeled to have a preliminary and comprehensive description of microswitch behavior and of its structural reliability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2011
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8066, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS V, 80660W (5 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886595
Show Author Affiliations
E. Brusa, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
M. Gh. Munteanu, Univ. of Udine (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8066:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS V
Ulrich Schmid; José Luis Sánchez-Rojas; Monika Leester-Schaedel, Editor(s)

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