Advertisement

Stiction-protected MEMS switch with low actuation voltage

  • Ilia V. Uvarov
  • Alexander N. Kupriyanov
Technical Paper
  • 31 Downloads

Abstract

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.

Notes

Acknowledgements

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”.

References

  1. Ansari HR, Khosroabadi S (2018) Design and simulation of a novel RF MEMS shunt capacitive switch with a unique spring for Ka-band application. Microsyst Technol.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00542-018-3989-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chakraborty S, Bhattacharyya TK (2010) Development of a surface micro-machined binary logic inverter for ultra-low frequency MEMS sensor applications. J Micromech Microeng 20:105026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen L, Lee H, Guo ZJ, McGruer NE, Gilbert KW, Mall S, Leedy KD, Adams GG (2007) Contact resistance study of noble metals and alloy films using a scanning probe microscope test station. J Appl Phys 102:074910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheng P, Zhang Y, Mao S, Wang H, Ding G, Zhang C, Dai X, Zhao X (2014) Novel electro-thermal latching micro-switch based on Ni/electrophoretic polymer micro-cantilevers. J Micromech Microeng 24:125015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chua GL, Singh P, Soon BW, Liang YS, Jayaraman KG, Kim TT-H, Singh N (2014) Molecular adhesion controlled microelectromechanical memory device for harsh environment data storage. Appl Phys Lett 105:113503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Czaplewski DA, Nordquist CD, Dyck CW, Patrizi GA, Kraus GM, Cowan WD (2012) Lifetime limitations of ohmic, contacting RF MEMS switches with Au, Pt and Ir contact materials due to accumulation of ‘friction polymer’ on the contacts. J Micromech Microeng 22:105005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dai C-L, Chen J-H (2006) Low voltage actuated RF micromechanical switches fabricated using CMOS-MEMS technique. Microsyst Technol 12:1143–1151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Daneshmand M, Mansour RR (2011) RF MEMS satellite switch matrices. IEEE Microw Mag 12:92–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ekkels P, Rottenberg X, Puers R, Tilmans HAC (2009) Evaluation of platinum as a structural thin film material for RF-MEMS devices. J Micromech Microeng 19:065010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goggin R, Fitzgerald P, Stenson B, Carty E, McDaid P (2015) Commercialization of a reliable RF MEMS switch with integrated driver circuitry in a miniature QFN package for RF instrumentation applications. In: 2015 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium.  https://doi.org/10.1109/MWSYM.2015.7166959
  11. Haider N, Caratelli D, Yarovoy AG (2013) Recent developments in reconfigurable and multiband antenna technology. Int J Antenn Propag 2013:869170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Happich J (2018) MEMS goes into 10A power switches. eeNews Europe. http://www.eenewseurope.com/news/mems-goes-10a-power-switches. Accessed 28 Sept 2018
  13. Haupt RL, Lanagan M (2013) Reconfigurable antennas. IEEE Antennas Propag Mag 55:49–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hirata A, Machida K, Kyuragi H, Maeda M (2000) A electrostatic micromechanical switch for logic operation in multichip modules on Si. Sens Actuators 80:119–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holm R (1967) Electric contacts: theory and application. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaajakari V (2009) Closed form expressions for RF MEMS switch actuation and release time. Electron Lett 45:149–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kim J-M, Lee S, Park J-H, Baek C-W, Kwon Y, Kim Y-K (2010) Electrostatically driven low-voltage micromechanical RF switches using robust single-crystal silicon actuators. J Micromech Microeng 20:095007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim M-W, Song Y-H, Yoon J-B (2011) Modeling, fabrication and demonstration of a rib-type cantilever switch with an extended gate electrode. J Micromech Microeng 21:115009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee T-H, Bhunia S, Mehregany M (2010) Electromechanical computing at 500 °C with silicon carbide. Science 329:1316–1318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee SW, Park SJ, Campbell EEB, Park YW (2011) A fast and low-power microelectromechanical system-based non-volatile memory device. Nat Commun 2:220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lee JO, Song T-H, Kim M-W, Kang M-H, Oh J-S, Yang H-H, Yoon J-B (2013) A sub-1-volt nanoelectromechanical switching device. Nat Nanotechnol 8:36–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maciel J, Majumder S, Lampen J, Guthy C (2012) Rugged and reliable ohmic MEMS switches. In: 2012 IEEE/MTT-S international microwave symposium digest.  https://doi.org/10.1109/MWSYM.2012.6258368
  23. Park J-H, Lee H-C, Park Y-H, Kim Y-D, Ji C-H, Bu J, Nam H-J (2006) A fully wafer-level packaged RF MEMS switch with low actuation voltage using a piezoelectric actuator. J Micromech Microeng 16:2281–2286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Patel CD, Rebeiz GM (2011) RF MEMS metal-contact switches with mN-contact and restoring forces and low process sensitivity. IEEE Trans Microw Theory Techn 59:1230–1237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Peroulis D, Pacheco SP, Sarabandi K, Katehi LPB (2003) Electromechanical considerations in developing low-voltage RF MEMS switches. IEEE Trans Microw Theory Techn 51:259–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rebeiz GM (2003) RF MEMS: theory, design, and technology. Wiley, New JerseyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rebeiz GM, Patel CD, Han SK, Ko C-H, Ho KMJ (2013) The search for a reliable MEMS switch. IEEE Microw Mag 14:57–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schiavone G, Desmulliez MPY, Walton AJ (2014) Integrated magnetic MEMS relays: status of the technology. Micromachines 5:622–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Seki T, Yamamoto J, Murakami A, Yoshitake N, Hinuma K, Fujiwara T, Sano K, Matsushita T, Sato F, Oba M (2013) An RF MEMS switch for 4G Front-Ends. In: 2013 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest (MTT).  https://doi.org/10.1109/mwsym.2013.6697501
  30. Shekhar S, Vinoy KJ, Ananthasuresh GK (2018) Low-voltage high-reliability MEMS switch for millimeter wave 5G applications. J Micromech Microeng 28:075012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sinha N, Jones TS, Guo Z, Piazza G (2012) Body-biased complementary logic implemented using AlN piezoelectric MEMS switches. J Microelectromech Syst 21:484–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Song Y-H, Kim M-W, Lee JO, Ko S-D, Yoon J-B (2013) Complementary dual-contact switch using soft and hard contact materials for achieving low contact resistance and high reliability simultaneously. J Microelectromech Syst 22:846–854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Toler BF, Coutu RA, McBride JW (2013) A review of micro-contact physics for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) metal contact switches. J Micromech Microeng 23:103001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tsai C-Y, Kuo W-T, Lin C-B, Chen T-L (2008) Design and fabrication of MEMS logic gates. J Micromech Microeng 18:045001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Uvarov IV, Kupriyanov AN (2018) Investigation of characteristics of electrostatically actuated MEMS switch with an active contact breaking mechanism. Russ Microlectron 47:307–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Uvarov IV, Naumov VV, Amirov II (2012) Resonance properties of multilayer metallic nanocantilevers. Proc SPIE 8700:87000S-1Google Scholar
  37. Uvarov IV, Naumov VV, Koroleva OM, Vaganova EI, Amirov II (2016) A low actuation voltage bistable MEMS switch: design, fabrication and preliminary testing. Proc SPIE 10224:102241AGoogle Scholar
  38. Uvarov IV, Naumov VV, Kupriyanov AN, Koroleva OM, Vaganova EI, Amirov II (2017) Resistive contact MEMS switch in a “hot” operation mode. J Phys Conf Ser 917:082001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. van Spengen WM, Puers R, de Wolf I (2003) On the physics of stiction and its impact on the reliability of microstructures. J Adhesion Sci Technol 17:563–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Xiang W, Lee C (2010) Nanoelectromechanical torsion switch of low operation voltage for nonvolatile memory application. Appl Phys Lett 96:193113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Younis MI (2011) MEMS linear and nonlinear statics and dynamics. Springer Science + Business Media LLC, BostonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zareie H, Rebeiz GM (2014) Compact high-power SPST and SP4T RF MEMS metal-contact switches. IEEE Trans Microw Theory Techn 62:297–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhang X, Adelegan OJ, Yamaner FY, Oralkan O (2018) A fast-switching (1.35-μs) low-control-voltage (2.5-V) MEMS T/R switch monolithically integrated with a capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer. J Microelectromech Syst 27:190–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zheng W-B, Huang Q-A, Liao X-P, Li F-X (2005) RF MEMS membrane switches on GaAs substrates for X-band applications. J Microelectromech Syst 14:464–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zolfaghari P, Arzhang V, Zolfaghari M (2018) A low loss and power efficient micro-electro-thermally actuated RF MEMS switch for low power and low loss applications. Microsyst Technol 24:3019–3032CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Micro- and Nanosystem TechnologyInstitute of Physics and Technology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Yaroslavl BranchYaroslavlRussia

Personalised recommendations