Analysis of Au metal-metal contacts in a lateral actuated RF MEMS switch
This paper reports on the ohmic contacts of an radio-frequency micro-electro-mechanical-system (RF MEMS) switch. The structure of the MEMS is described briefly to give information about the organization of the switch device. The most significant performance data are reported, indicating very low actuation voltage below 5 V, switching time of <10 µs and good RF performance for frequencies up to 5 GHz. Since the contact performance is a key for excellent RF performance in the actuated state and for high reliability as well the article is focused on the contacts. It is supposed that asperities are building the current path in a closed contact, which is proved by measurements of the closing process with high time resolution. The measurements exhibit very good power-handling capabilities of the contacts. The reported findings render prior theoretical experiments with a physical device.