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This paper reports new RF microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches actuated by the combination of electromagnetic and electrostatic forces for low-voltage and low-power operation. The proposed RF MEMS switches have utilized the proper combination of two actuation mechanisms: taking advantage of the large actuation force from electromagnetic actuation for initial movement and the low-power feature from electrostatic actuation for holding the actuator position. Both series- and shunt-type switches have been implemented using the proposed actuation mechanism. From the fabricated switches, feasibility of operation has been successfully demonstrated. The fabricated switches can be operated within several hundred microseconds. In the series-type switch, the isolation has been measured as -34dB and insertion loss as -0.37dB at 20 GHz. In the shunt type switch, the isolation is -20.7dB and insertion loss is -0.85dB at 19.5 GHz. The proposed RF MEMS switches are mechanically robust and the combination of electromagnetic and electrostatic actuations makes it possible to achieve excellent switching characteristics at low power and low voltage below 5 V.
Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:53 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2005