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Reliability design of thermally actuated MEMS switches based on V-shape beams

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This paper presents the design and fabrication of the thermally actuated MEMS switches based on out-of-plane V-beams. The purpose of this research is to analyze the mechanical response of a V-thermal actuator fabricated from aluminum in order to improve the accuracy in response and to increase the switch lifetime. The actuation of this kind of switches is based on the thermal displacement of the mobile electrode under thermal load that is generated when the actuation voltage is applied. It can be used either as a capacitive switch or as a metal-to-metal one. The displacement of the mobile electrode for a given temperature is analytically calculated and validated both numerically and experimentally. Experimental investigations are performed on a macro-scale sample using a 3D digital image correlation measuring system, a heating source and a thermal camera for temperature monitoring. The first fabrication steps of the MEMS switch based on the V-beam thermal actuator are presented. The out-of-plane V-beams thermal MEMS switches can be monolithically integrated in RF applications.

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This work was supported by the Reliability design of RF-MEMS switches for space applications (REDEMS) research project founded by the Romanian Space Agency’s STAR Program.

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Correspondence to Marius Pustan.

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Pustan, M., Chiorean, R., Birleanu, C. et al. Reliability design of thermally actuated MEMS switches based on V-shape beams. Microsyst Technol 23, 3863–3871 (2017).

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