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Thermal switch design by using complementary metal??oxide semiconductor MEMS fabrication process

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5 Author(s)
Jin-Chern Chiou ; Dept. of Electr. Control Eng., Nat. Chiao Tung Univ., Hsinchu, Taiwan ; Lei-Chun Chou ; You-Liang Lai ; Ying-Zong Juang
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The present study focuses on implementing a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) microelectromechanical system thermal switch by using the commercially available Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) 0.35 μm two-poly four-metal CMOS process. There are two novel designs: first, the soft contact structure and post-processing fabrication; second, a new design of thermal actuator. To create the soft contact structure, residual stress effect has been utilised to make different bending curvatures. According to the experiments, the layer metal-1 has the largest residual stress effect that can achieve the largest deflection in the z-axis. Because the residual stress of the layer metal-1 is negative, the structure will bend down after release, hence providing larger contact area, which has been set up to obtain the lowest contact miss ability. In the post-processing fabrication, 0.3 μm thickness gold will be patterned at the contact tips. Since gold, rather than aluminium, has no oxidation issue, it has more reliability in preventing the problem of oxidation than aluminium. In the new thermal actuator design, the authors designed a novel folded-flexure with the electrothermal excitation to turn the switch on or off. In the prototype, the device size is 500 × 400 μm and the gap between two contact pads is 9 μm in off-state. Depending on the simulation results, the switch can work stably at 3 V, and the working temperature and operating bandwidth are individually 20-200°C.

Published in:

Micro & Nano Letters, IET  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 2011

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