Unique Fabrication Method for Novel MEMS Micro-contact Structure
MEMS and Nanotechnology
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switch reliability is a major obstacle for large-volume commercial applications despite offering lower power consumption, better isolation, and lower insertion loss compared to conventional field-effect transistors and PIN diodes (Yang et al. IEEE J Microelectromech Syst 18(2): 287–295, 2009). To enhance reliability and performance, MEMS researchers focus on the micro-contact lifecycle evolution based on material choice and design of the micro-contact. In order to examine the micro-contact phenomena and physics, a novel DC MEMS micro-contact structure has been developed. The structure is composed of a Gold contact pad and a layered Gold beam. The reliability and performance of a micro-contact is directly influenced by its ability to make and break its electrical connection. Its ability to separate from the contact area is a function of applied force, adhesion forces, and the restoring force. The layered Gold micro-contact structure was fabricated and the processing steps, performance, and experimental results of the device reliability of the device are presented.