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Low-Voltage Small-Size Double-Arm MEMS Actuator

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This article reports on the fabrication and characterization of a double-arm cantilever-type metallic DC-contact microelectromechanical system (MEMS) actuator with low pull-down voltage.
The project achieved significant progress toward obtaining highly reliable small-size MEMS actuators with low actuation voltage and fast switching speed. The actuators showed promising performance results. All MEMS actuators exhibited actuation voltages below 20 V. For cantilever widths smaller than 20 mm, actuation voltages lower than 10 V were consistently measured. The actuation (pull-down) voltage of devices was measured on-wafer using a probe station and a DC bias sources. In order to improve the insertion loss performance of the actuators with a small cantilever width, the project is currently optimizing mechanical switch design using novel contact architectures and investigating various alloy electric contact metallurgies with desired electrical and mechanical properties. The project is also developing new nanofabrication processes in order to reduce contact resistance and improve reliability. 4 figures and 6 footnotes

Date Published: January 1, 2009