Skip to Main Content
This paper investigates the design and optimization of a row/column addressing scheme to individually pull in or pull out single electrostatic actuators in an N2 array, utilizing the electromechanical hysteresis behavior of electrostatic actuators and efficiently reducing the number of necessary control lines from N2 complexity to 27 V. This paper illustrates the principle of the row/column addressing scheme. Furthermore, it investigates the optimal addressing voltages to individually pull in or pull out single actuators with maximum operational reliability, determined by the statistical parameters of the pull-in and pull-out characteristics of the actuators. The investigated addressing scheme is implemented for the individual addressing of cross-connect switches in a microelectromechanical systems 20 X 20 switch array, which is utilized for the automated any-to-any interconnection of 20 input signal line pairs to 20 output signal line pairs. The investigated addressing scheme and the presented calculations were successfully tested on electrostatic actuators in a fabricated 20 X 20 array. The actuation voltages and their statistical variations were characterized for different subarray cluster sizes. Finally, the addressing voltages were calculated and verified by tests, resulting in an operational reliability of 99.9498% (502 parts per million (ppm) failure rate) for a 20 X 20 switch array and of 99.99982% (1.75 ppm failure rate) for a 3 X 3 subarray cluster. The array operates by AC-actuation voltage to minimize the disturbing effects by dielectric charging of the actuator isolation layers, as observed in this paper for DC-actuation voltages.