Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology
Reliable and long-lifetime electrical contact is a very important issue in the field of radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and in energy transmission applications. In this paper, the initial unstable electrical contact phenomena under the conditions of micro-newton-scale contact force and nanometer-scale contact gap have been experimentally observed. The repetitive contact bounces at nanoscale are confirmed by the measured instantaneous waveforms of contact force and contact voltage. Moreover, the corresponding physical model for describing the competition between the electrostatic force and the restoring force of the mobile contact is present. Then, the dynamic process of contact closure is explicitly calculated with the numerical method. Finally, the effects of spring rigidness and open voltage on the unstable electrical contact behaviors are investigated experimentally and theoretically. This paper highlights that in MEMS systems switch, minimal actuation velocity is required to prevent mechanical bounce and excessive wear.