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This paper details single-crystalline silicon (SCS) direct contact radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) switch designed and fabricated using an SiOG (silicon-on-glass) substrate, so as to obtain higher fabrication and performance uniformity compared with a conventional metal switch. The mechanical and electrical performances of the fabricated silicon switch have been tested. In comparison with a conventional metallic MEMS switch, we can obtain higher productivity and uniformity by using SCS, because it has very low stresses and superior thermal characteristics as a structural material of the switch. Also, by using the SiOG substrate instead of an SOI substrate, fabrication cost can be significantly reduced. The proposed switch is fabricated on a coplanar waveguide (CPW) and actuated by electrostatic force. The designed chip size is 1.05 mm×0.72 mm. Measured pull-in voltage and actuation voltage were 19 V and 26 V, respectively. Eighteen identical switches taken randomly throughout the wafer showed average and standard deviation of the measured pull-in voltage of 19.1 and 1.5 V, respectively. The RF characteristics of the fabricated switch from dc to 30 GHz have been measured. The isolation and insertion loss measured on the four identical samples were -38 to -39 dB and -0.18 to -0.2 dB at 2 GHz, respectively. Forming damping holes on the upper electrode leads to a relatively fast switching speed. Measured ON and OFF time were 25 and 13 μs, respectively. In the switch OFF state, self-actuation does not happen up to the input power of 34 dBm. The measured holding power of the fabricated switch was 31 dBm. Stiction problem was not observed after 108 cycles of repeated actuation, but the contact resistance varied about 0.5-1 Ω from the initial value.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2004