Simulation of Cantilever Beam Micro-switch Pull-in and Collapse Voltages

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Simulations of cantilever beam micro-switches such as those shown in Figure 1 exhibit two important operational voltages: the pull-in voltage when contact is initiated at the landing electrode, and the collapse voltage when the cantilever collapses onto the drive electrode. In between these two voltage levels is the operational range of the switch. Our simulations show the ratio of the collapse voltage to the pull-in voltage is heavily dependent upon the design of the switch to include: beam length and thickness, electrode width, dimple height, and spatial separation between the cantilever beam and the drive electrode. For instance, increasing electrode width decreases the pull-in voltage slightly while the collapse voltage decreases dramatically. Initial measurements to confirm the simulations have been performed and reasonable agreement has been observed. Further measurements are required and ongoing.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2003 Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: February 23, 2003
Pages: 432 - 435
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 0-9728422-0-9