ELECTROTHERMALLY-ACTUATED RF-MEMS DEVICES MANUFACTURED ON A LOW-RESISTIVITY
D. GIRBAU, L.L. PRADELL, M.A. LLAMAS, A. LÁZARO, A. NEBOT
This paper presents a review of the design, implementation and
characterization of several electrothermally-actuated RF MEMS devices on
lowresistivity substrates. It addresses lateral resistive-contact RF-MEMS
switches for application to low GHz communication bands, which are driven
by metal electrothermal actuators, achieving large displacements and
contact forces at much lower temperatures than traditional polysilicon
electrothermal actuators. They are manufactured on a standard low-resistivity
substrate and their RF performance is improved by suspending the
structures 25 µm from the substrate. Measured Sparameters and first
results of their RF power handling characteristics are given. A high-force
large-displacement vertical electrothermal actuator is also proposed,
which is applied as driving element in parallel-plate RF capacitors.
Index Terms: MEMS parallel switch, low-resistivity substrate,
resistive-contact, vertical and lateral electrothermal actuator.