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Advanced understanding of the physics makes phase change materials (PCM) and metal-insulator transition (MIT) materials great candidates for direct current (DC) and radio frequency (RF) switching applications. In the literature, germanium telluride (GeTe), a PCM, and vanadium dioxide (VO2), an MIT material have been widely investigated for DC and RF switching applications due to their remarkable contrast in their OFF/ON state resistivity values. In this review, innovations in design, fabrication, and characterization associated with these PCM and MIT material-based RF switches, have been highlighted and critically reviewed from the early stage to the most recent works. We initially report on the growth of PCM and MIT materials and then discuss their DC characteristics. Afterwards, novel design approaches and notable fabrication processes; utilized to improve switching performance; are discussed and reviewed. Finally, a brief vis-á-vis comparison of resistivity, insertion loss, isolation loss, power consumption, RF power handling capability, switching speed, and reliability is provided to compare their performance to radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) switches; which helps to demonstrate the current state-of-the-art, as well as insight into their potential in future applications.


Published version. Technologies, Vol. 6, No. 48 (May 4, 2018). DOI. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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