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Lateral MEMS microcontact considerations

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2 Author(s)
E. J. J. Kruglick ; Sensors & Actuators Center, California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; K. S. J. Pister

A lateral switching relay structure has been developed which provides a double gold contact with as low as 70-mΩ measured contact resistance, 0.45-A current-carrying ability at MEMS compatible force levels, TTL compatible actuation, and air gap isolation when open. The die area used for the relay mechanism itself (distinct from the actuation) is approximately 75 μm by 100 μm and was designed to allow fabrication of the relays in the MCNC MUMP's dual polysilicon foundry process with no assembly. Design analysis shows that substantial characterization is needed to design optimal microrelays. Temperature softening and failure modes have been characterized by current voltage techniques. Polysilicon vernier structures were used to develop force/current/conductance curves. Relays using thermal actuators have been built

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 3 )