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A Liquid–Solid Direct Contact Low-Loss RF Micro Switch

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2 Author(s)
Prosenjit Sen ; Mech. & Aerosp. Eng. Dept., Univ. of California (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Chang-Jin Kim

This paper reports the design, fabrication, and testing of a liquid-metal (LM) droplet-based radio-frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) shunt switch with dc-40 GHz performance. The switch demonstrates better than 0.3 dB insertion loss and 20 dB isolation up to 40 GHz, achieving significant improvements over previous LM-based RF MEMS switches. The improvement is attributed to use of electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) as a new actuation mechanism, which allows design optimized for RF switching. A two-droplet design is devised to solve the biasing problem of the actuation electrode that would otherwise limit the performance of a single-droplet design. The switch design uses a microframe structure to accurately position the liquid-solid contact line while also absorbing variations in deposited LM volumes. By sliding the liquid-solid contact line electrostatically through EWOD, the switch demonstrates bounceless switching, low switch-on time (60 mus), and low power consumption (10 nJ per cycle).

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 5 )