Contact Force Models, including Electric Contact Deformation, for Electrostatically Actuated, Cantilever-Style, RF MEMS Switches

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Electrostatically actuated, cantilever-style, metal contact, radio frequency (RF), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches depend on having adequate contact force to achieve desired, low contact resistance. In this study, contact force equations that account for beam tip deflection and electric contact material deformation are derived. Tip deflection is modeled analytically using beam bending theory and contact material deformation is modeled as elastic, plastic, or elastic-plastic. Contact resistance predictions, based on Maxwellian theory and newly derived contact force equations, are compared to experimental results. Contact force predictions not considering tip deflection or material deformation overestimate contact force and result in underestimated contact resistance. Predictions based on the new contact force models agree with measurements.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Technical Proceedings of the 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: March 7, 2004
Pages: 219 - 222
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 0-9728422-8-4