A hybrid RF MEMS switch actuated by the combination of bidirectional thermal actuations and electrostatic holding

Uikyu Chae, Hyun Yong Yu, Changhyuk Lee, Il Joo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Radio frequency microelectro-mechanical system (RF MEMS) switches have received attention due to their higher performances at high frequencies compared with semiconductor-based switches. However, most of the previous MEMS switches used electrostatic actuation, which requires a high actuation voltage and has a low actuation force. Herein, we propose a new hybrid RF MEMS switch for low-voltage and low-power operation that is actuated by the combination of bidirectional thermal actuation and electrostatic holding. The proposed hybrid RF MEMS switch is actuated by the combination of two actuation mechanisms, i.e.: 1) bidirectional thermal actuation of the large force with low actuation voltage and 2) electrostatic holding for low-power consumption. The large actuation force enables high signal isolation at the 'OFF' state of the switch because of the high initial gap between the signal line and the contact metal. Also, the bidirectional thermal actuator that enables upward actuation prevents any stiction of the membrane, which enhances both the power handling capability and the reliability of the actuator. In this work, we successfully fabricated the proposed RF MEMS switch and measured both its mechanical characteristics and RF characteristics. The required actuation voltage for the switch is less than 0.3 V for thermal actuation, and the required voltage for electrostatic holding is 15.4 V. The power consumption was measured as 3.24 μJ per switching. Also, we measured the RF characteristics, and the insertion loss of signals was 0.23 dB at 2.4 GHz, and the isolation of signals was 38.80 dB at 2.4 GHz.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9130910
Pages (from-to)3461-3470
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Volume68
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Keywords

  • Bidirectional actuation
  • Radio frequency microelectro-mechanical system (RF MEMS) switch
  • electrostatic holding
  • low actuation voltage
  • thermal actuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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