Schottky Barrier Contact-Based RF MEMS Switch


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JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS VOL 17 NO 6 DECEMBER 2008 1439 Schottky Barrier Contact Based RF MEMS Switch Brandon Pillans Member IEEE Frank Morris Prem Chahal Member IEEE Gary Frazier and Jeong Bong Lee Senior Member IEEE Abstract This paper presents the design fabrication and measurement results for a novel Schottky barrier contact based radio frequency RF microelectromechanical systems MEMS switch This Schottky barrier contact allows one not only to operate the RF MEMS switch in a traditional capacitive mode when it is reverse biased but also conduct current in a forward biased state Forward biasing the switch recombines trapped charges thus extending the lifetime of the switch This paper intimately combines MEMS processing with solid state electronics to produce a truly unique RF device 2008 0097 Index Terms Microelectromechanical devices microwave switches reliability Schottky barriers semiconductor materials I I NTRODUCTION M ICROELECTROMECHANICAL systems MEMS have permeated many commercial and defense systems through the use of accelerometers ink jet printer nozzles and microdisplay devices to name a few 1 By shrinking traditional components to the microscale advantages to cost power and performance can be realized However because these devices are all mechanical in nature and the forces involved are small reliability becomes a key concern in how quickly the technology can be implemented For the devices previously mentioned the reliability has been extensively studied and improved upon such that these components can be found in even the most demanding and critical applications such as automobile airbag deployment sensors For newer types of MEMS devices such as radio frequency RF switches the reliability is still in question and must be improved and demonstrated for systems to take advantage of the superior performance RF MEMS switches offer a high performance low power low cost alternative to traditional diode switches 2 but improving the

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