Reliability Study of Low-Voltage RF MEMS Switches


David Becher, Richard Chan, Michael Hattendorf, and Milton Feng

High Speed Integrated Circuits Group

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois

208 N. Wright, Urbana, IL 61801, USA






The reliability and performance of a low-voltage metal-to-metal contact shunt RF MEMS switch is investigated. The switch featured is compatible with standard MMIC processing steps. The best rf performance shows insertion loss of less that 0.1 dB and isolation of greater than 22 dB for all frequencies up to 40 GHz. Switching times are less than 25 ms. Lifetimes of 310 8 cycles have been achieved for tests with no input signal, and 1.310 6 cycles for tests with continuous input. The failure mechanism is degradation of the metal-to-metal contact, and stiction problems have been avoided through careful processing and testing conditions.


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