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This letter aims to propose a new setup for systematically inducing microwelding formation on ohmic RF microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches using electrostatic discharge events in a controllable manner. The established procedure was verified with success on different typologies of clamped-free and clamped-clamped electrostatically actuated switches, but it can be easily extended to other families of MEMS devices. This setup makes possible the evaluation of the intrinsic robustness of different designs to the stiction caused by microwelding events, and it can be adopted to evaluate the efficiency of an active restoring mechanism implemented within the RF-MEMS switch.
Date of Publication: June 2011