Skip to Main Content
This paper presents an electrostatic RF microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) metal contact switch based on a tethered cantilever topology. The use of tethers results in a design that has low sensitivity to stress gradients, biaxial stresses, and temperature. A switch with a footprint of 160 × 190 μm2 and based on a 8-μm-thick gold cantilever with an Au/Ru contact is implemented on a high-resistivity silicon substrate and results in a total contact force of 0.8-1.2 mN at 80-90 V, a restoring force of 0.5 mN, a pull-in voltage of 61 V, an up-state capacitance of 24 fF, and an actuation time of 6.4 μ s. The device achieves a switch resistance of 2.4±1.4 Ω to 1.8±0.6 Ω at 90-100 V in open laboratory environments (nonpackaged). This design has the potential to replace conventional electromagnetic relays in application areas such as automated testing equipment and high-performance switching networks.