Reducing Actuation Voltage in RF MEMS Switches and the Impact of Scaling on Performance and Reliability

Jaime Castro

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2018-188
December 18, 2018

http://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2018/EECS-2018-188.pdf

For over two decades, researchers have written about microelectromechanical switches and their remarkable performance in terms of low insertion loss, high linearity, high isolation, and extremely low power consumption. Although these characteristics are highly desired in RF applications, the high actuation voltage currently required to operate these switches—typically in the 20 to 80 volts range, presents a challenge for incorporating MEMS switches into portable wireless, low-power, and battery-operated systems. Continuing to push for yet smaller dimensions can help in reducing actuation voltage requirements and provides additional benefits such as higher integration and speed. Despite these advantages, scaling down can also emphasize reliability concerns that reduce the lifetime of the switch. The work presented here touches on the fundamentals of electrostatically actuated RF MEMS switches and the impact of scaling to both reliability and performance.


BibTeX citation:

@techreport{Castro:EECS-2018-188,
    Author = {Castro, Jaime},
    Title = {Reducing Actuation Voltage in RF MEMS Switches and the Impact of Scaling on Performance and Reliability},
    Institution = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2018},
    Month = {Dec},
    URL = {http://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2018/EECS-2018-188.html},
    Number = {UCB/EECS-2018-188},
    Abstract = {For over two decades, researchers have written about microelectromechanical switches and their remarkable performance in terms of low insertion loss, high linearity, high isolation, and extremely low power consumption. Although these characteristics are highly desired in RF applications, the high actuation voltage currently required to operate these switches—typically in the 20 to 80 volts range, presents a challenge for incorporating MEMS switches into portable wireless, low-power, and battery-operated systems. Continuing to push for yet smaller dimensions can help in reducing actuation voltage requirements and provides additional benefits such as higher integration and speed. Despite these advantages, scaling down can also emphasize reliability concerns that reduce the lifetime of the switch. The work presented here touches on the fundamentals of electrostatically actuated RF MEMS switches and the impact of scaling to both reliability and performance.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Report
%A Castro, Jaime
%T Reducing Actuation Voltage in RF MEMS Switches and the Impact of Scaling on Performance and Reliability
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2018
%8 December 18
%@ UCB/EECS-2018-188
%U http://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2018/EECS-2018-188.html
%F Castro:EECS-2018-188