Promise and Progress of GaAs MEMS and MOEMS
O. Blum Spahn, C. T. Sullivan, T. Bakke, A. Allerman
J. Reno, G. Grossetete, J. Lean, C. Fuller
Sandia National Laboratories

We discuss progress and prospects for compound semiconductor MEMS and MOEMS, in particular GaAs-based devices. Various applications, such as optical switching, sensors and RF will be highlighted with a particular focus on distinguishing characteristics of compound semiconductors over silicon structures. We present our work on a 1x2-waveguide switch. Data on fabrication and performance of this GaAs/AlGaAs device will be presented. Devices are predicted to switch in less than 40 µsec. Switching voltages of 15 V and propagation losses of 0.8 dB/cm were measured.