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Miniature RF MEMS switched capacitors

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3 Author(s)
Mercier, D. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Van Caekenberghe, K. ; Rebeiz, G.M.

This paper presents a paradigm shift in RF MEMS, and shows the development of miniature switched capacitors for RF applications. The MEMS bridges are 21 μm long by 8 μm wide, and are 150-300x smaller than the standard Raytheon switch or other switched capacitors as presented in G. M. Rebeiz (2003). The bridges are integrated in an N × M array implemented in coplanar waveguide t-lines (CPW). The bridges are 3400 Å thick, and are suspended 2400 Å above the CPW center conductor (with a 1600 Å SiN layer), resulting in an actuation voltage of 25 V. The measured capacitance ratio of a single bridge is 2.8, and that of a 3 × 20 arrays is 1.9. These MEMS switched capacitors have a very high spring constant, and correspondingly a very high pull-up force per unit contact area with the dielectric layer. They are not sensitive to charging in the dielectric layer and also, are not sensitive to temperature variation. Also, the simulated switching time is 250 ns for gold switches and 110 ns for Al switches. We believe that this design is very useful for high reliability RF MEMS switches in the coming years.

Published in:

Microwave Symposium Digest, 2005 IEEE MTT-S International

Date of Conference:

12-17 June 2005