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Thermally Actuated Latching RF MEMS Switch and Its Characteristics

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5 Author(s)
Daneshmand, M. ; Microwave to Millimeter-wave (M2M) Lab., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada ; Fouladi, S. ; Mansour, R.R. ; Lisi, M.
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Here, a new thermally actuated latching wideband RF microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switch is presented. The switch employs two thermal actuators connected to two thin metal arms which serve as signal lines of coplanar waveguide switch. The actuators pull the thin arms sequentially, and latch the switch. The switch can be actuated on and off by using either short voltage or current pulses. Using a dielectric bridge (nitride) as an interface between the actuators and the thin arms, the RF circuitry is separated from DC actuators, allowing wide-band operation. The switch demonstrates an excellent wideband RF performance with an insertion loss of better than 0.3 dB up to 20 GHz and better than 0.8 dB up to 40 GHz. The return loss and isolation of the switch is better than 20 dB for the entire frequency band. The switch also has a very satisfactory repeatability with better than 0.1-dB variation in insertion loss and less than 1-dB variation in return loss and isolation at 30-dB level up to 6000 times switching cycles. The switch has been also successfully tested for RF power handling capability up to 40 dBm. The proposed switch has very simple RF structure which makes it an ideal candidate to be integrated in the form of more complex circuitry. An application of the proposed switch for a band selection network which is used in multiband transceivers has been presented here.

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 12 )