Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
This paper presents a method for selecting metal alloys as the electric contact materials for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) metal contact switches. This procedure consists of reviewing macro-switch lessons learned, utilizing equilibrium binary alloy phase diagrams, obtaining thin film material properties and, based on a suitable model, predicting contact resistance performance. After determining a candidate alloy material, MEMS switches were designed, fabricated and tested to validate the alloy selection methodology. Minimum average contact resistance values of 1.17 and 1.87 Ω were measured for micro-switches with gold (Au) and gold–platinum (Au–(6.3%)Pt) alloy electric contacts, respectively. In addition, 'hot-switched' life cycle test results of 1.02 × 108 and 2.70 × 108 cycles were collected for micro-switches with Au and Au–(6.3%)Pt contacts, respectively. These results indicate increased wear with a small increase in contact resistance for MEMS switches with metal alloy electric contacts.
Coutu, Ronald A. Jr.; Kladitis, Paul E.; Leedy, Kevin D.; and Crane, Robert L., "Selecting Metal Alloy Electric Contact Materials for MEMS Switches" (2004). Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Research and Publications. 342.
ADA accessible version
Accepted version. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol. 14, No. 8 (June 17, 2004): 1157. DOI. © 2018 IOP Publishing. Used with permission.
Ronald A. Coutu, Jr. was affiliated with the Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT/ENG, 2950 Hobson Way, Wright Patterson AFB, OH at the time of publication.