Stiction-protected MEMS switch with low actuation voltage
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Commercial success of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches is limited by several issues. A high actuation voltage requires special circuitry solutions that increase size and cost of the switch. Another problem is the lack of reliability due to the stiction phenomenon. This paper presents a single-pole double-throw MEMS switch with electrostatic actuation and resistive contact. The device is based on an aluminum beam suspended by the torsion springs over the driving and signal electrodes. The design provides the pull-in voltage as low as 4.9 V. At the same time, the switch is equipped with the mechanism that protects it from stiction. The device is able to operate in the passive and active opening regimes. Recovery of the device after stiction in the hot switching conditions is demonstrated. In the cold mode, stiction is not observed at the transmitted DC power up to 25 mW. The resonant properties and response time of the switch are investigated. The on-resistance and the lifecycle are discussed. The proposed design is characterized by the high mechanical reliability. The main reason of failure is an increase of the on-resistance because of carbon accumulation on the platinum contacts.
This work is supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) research project No. 16-37-60065 mol_a_dk and performed using the equipment of Facilities Sharing Centre “Diagnostics of Micro- and Nanostructures”.
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