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Structural Dynamics of an RF MEMS Switch

[+] Author Affiliations
Hartono Sumali, Jaron D. Kuppers, David A. Czaplewski, Jordan E. Massad, Christopher W. Dyck

Sandia National Laboratories

Paper No. IMECE2005-80956, pp. 71-75; 5 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Microelectromechanical Systems
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Microelectromechanical Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4224-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The radio-frequency micro-electromechanical system (RF MEMS) switch comprises a plate suspended by four double-cantilever springs. When electrostatic actuation is applied, the plate moves toward the substrate and closes the switch. This article discusses how simulation and experimental methods improve the performance of the switch by suppressing mechanical rebounds and thus electrical signal discontinuities. To accurately simulate the mechanical motion of the switch, a high-fidelity three-dimensional finite element model is created to couple the solid dynamics with the electrostatic actuation. The displacement of the switch at various points is measured using a laser Doppler velocimeter through a microscope. The operational deflection shapes agree with the model. The three-dimensional model produces the necessary information for an effective one-dimensional model. The latter model is used to calculate an actuation voltage waveform to minimize switch velocity at closure, thereby suppressing switch rebound. The waveforms can be refined experimentally to compensate for switch property variations. Laboratory tests indicate that the waveform suppresses or eliminates rebound events.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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