Thermally robust thin-metal membrane capacitive RF MEMS switch

  • Sudhanshu ShekharEmail author
  • K. J. Vinoy
Original Article


Temperature plays a critical role in the reliability of radio-frequency micro-electro-mechanical systems (RF MEMS) switches. The focus of this paper to realize temperature-stable capacitive-type RF MEMS switch. We report design, FEA-based modeling and thermal characterization at different ambient temperature. Experimental result suggests that presented switch topology is temperature stable and stress tolerant. Measurement up to \(100\,^{\circ }{\text {C}}\) shows variation of \(0.03 \,{\text {V}}/^{\circ }{\text {C}}\) in the pull-in and pull-up voltages. In addition, RF and the dynamic response of these switches are also measured and presented. These MEMS switches need 6.5 V for actuation. The mechanical resonant frequency and quality factor are measured to be 10.7 kHz and 1.16, respectively. The measured switching and release times are \(36\,\upmu {\text {s}}\) and \(20\,\upmu {\text {s}}\), respectively. The experimental results suggest that the presented MEMS switch is a suitable choice for RF applications at elevated temperature.


Capacitive switch MEMS switch Pull-in RF MEMS Reliability Residual-stress Temperature 



The authors like to thank Prof. G. K. Ananthasuresh, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, for his supervision and facility technologists of Nantional Nanofabrication Centre (NNFC) and Micro Nano Characterization Facility (MNCF) at Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), IISc for their support in microfabrication and characterization.


  1. Attar SS, Setoodeh S, Mansour RR, Gupta D (2014) Low-temperature superconducting DC-contact RF MEMS switch for cryogenic reconfigurable RF front-ends. IEEE Trans Microw Theory Tech 62(7):1437–1447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blondy P, Crunteanu A, Pothier A, Tristant P, Catherinot A, Champeaux C (2007) Effects of atmosphere on the reliability of RF-MEMS capacitive switches. In: IEEE Proceedings of European microwave integrated circuit conference, pp 548–550Google Scholar
  3. Goldsmith CL, Forehand DI (2005) Temperature variation of actuation voltage in capacitive MEMS switches. IEEE Microw Wirel Compon Lett 15(10):718–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Goldsmith C, Maciel J, McKillop J (2007) Demonstrating reliability. IEEE Microw Mag 8(6):56–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goldsmith C, Forehand D, Peng Z, Hwang J, Ebel JL (2007) High-cycle life testing of RF MEMS switches. In: IEEE/MTT-S international microwave symposium, pp 1805–1808Google Scholar
  6. Huang Y, Vasan ASS, Doraiswami R, Osterman M, Pecht M (2012) Mems reliability review. IEEE Trans Device Mater Reliab 12(2):482–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Iannacci J (2017) RF-MEMS technology: an enabling solution in the transition from 4G-LTE to 5G mobile applications. In: IEEE sensors, pp 1–3Google Scholar
  8. Iannacci J, Huhn M, Tschoban C, Potter H (2016) RF-MEMS technology for 5G: series and shunt attenuator modules demonstrated up to 110 GHz. IEEE Electron Device Lett 37(10):1336–1339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lishchynska M, O’Mahony C, Slattery O, Wittler O, Walter H (2007) Evaluation of packaging effect on mems performance: simulation and experimental study. IEEE Trans Adv Packag 30(4):629–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mulloni V, Solazzi F, Ficorella F, Collini A, Margesin B (2013) Influence of temperature on the actuation voltage of RF-MEMS switches. Microelectron Reliab 53(5):706–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rebeiz GM (2004) RF MEMS: theory, design, and technology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Rebeiz GM, Patel CD, Han SK, Ko C, Ho KMJ (2013) The search for a reliable mems switch. IEEE Microw Mag 14(1):57–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Reines I, Pillans B, Rebeiz GM (2011) Thin-film aluminum RF MEMS switched capacitors with stress tolerance and temperature stability. IEEE/ASME J Microelectromech Syst 20(1):193–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rizk JB, Chaiban E, Rebeiz GM (2002) Steady state thermal analysis and high-power reliability considerations of RF MEMS capacitive switches. In: IEEE MTT-S international microwave symposium digest (cat. no. 02CH37278), vol 1, pp 239–243Google Scholar
  15. Shekhar S, Vinoy K, Ananthasuresh G (2011) Switching and release time analysis of electrostatically actuated capacitive RF MEMS switches. Sens Transducers 130(7):77Google Scholar
  16. Shekhar S, Vinoy K, Ananthasuresh G (2017) Surface-micromachined capacitive RF switches with low-actuation voltage and steady-contact. IEEE/ASME J Microelectromech Syst 26(3):643–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shekhar S, Vinoy KJ, Ananthasuresh GK (2018) Low-voltage high-reliability MEMS switch for millimeter wave 5G applications. J Micromech Microeng 28(7):075012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zaghloul U, Bhushan B, Pons P, Papaioannou GJ, Coccetti F, Plana R (2010) On the influence of environment gases, relative humidity and gas purification on dielectric charging/discharging processes in electrostatically driven MEMS/NEMS devices. Nanotechnology 22(3):035705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Zhu Y, Espinosa HD (2004) Effect of temperature on capacitive RF MEMS switch performance? A coupled-field analysis. J Micromech Microeng (IOP) 14(8):1270CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Smart Structures & Systems, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical Communication Engineering Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Electrical Communication EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations