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Lifetime Extension of RF MEMS Direct Contact Switches in Hot Switching Operations by Ball Grid Array Dimple Design

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4 Author(s)
Chow, Linda L.-W. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI ; Volakis, J.L. ; Saitou, K. ; Kurabayashi, Katsuo

Direct contact RF microelectromechanical systems switches have demonstrated excellent ultrawideband performance from dc to 100 GHz. However, they are prone to failures due to contact adhesion and arcing, particularly for pure-gold/pure-gold contacts. In this letter, we present a new contact design employing ball grid array (BGA) dimples that limit the effective contact area to a few tens of nanometers in diameter. We experimentally show the performance of the BGA dimple with pure-gold/pure-gold contacts and demonstrate RF power handling greater than 1 W during hot switching in excess of 100 million cycles

Published in:

Electron Device Letters, IEEE  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )