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Electrothermally Actuated RF MEMS Switches Suspended on a Low-Resistivity Substrate

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4 Author(s)
Girbau, D. ; Dept. of Signal Theory & Commun., Univ. Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain ; Pradell, L. ; Lazaro, A. ; Nebot, A.

This paper presents an electrothermally actuated lateral resistive-contact switch for application to low-gigahertz-band communication systems. It was manufactured on a standard low-resistivity substrate, and its RF performance was improved by suspending the structures 25 ¿m from the substrate, which is a strategy for future integration with active devices in the system-on-chip concept. Measured insertion losses are -0.26 dB at 1 GHz and -0.65 dB at 6 GHz, return losses are -29 dB at 1 GHz and -25 dB at 6 GHz, and isolations are -52 dB at 1 GHz and -26 dB at 6 GHz. The device is driven by a metal electrothermal actuator, which achieves large displacements and contact forces at much lower temperatures than traditional polysilicon electrothermal actuators. The RF power handling characteristics are also addressed and measured.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 5 )