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Vol. 130, Issue 7, July 2011, pp.77-90




Switching and Release Time Analysis of Electrostatically Actuated Capacitive RF MEMS Switches

1, 2 S. Shekhar, K. J. Vinoy, 3 G. K. Ananthasuresh

1Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, 2Department of Electrical Communication Engineering,

3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Tel.: +91- 80-2293-2853

E-mail: sshekhar@ece.iisc.ernet.in



Received: 24 May 2011   /Accepted: 22 July 2011   /Published: 29 July 2011

Handbook of Laboaratory Measurements book


Abstract: This paper explains the reason behind pull-in time being more than pull-up time of many Radio Frequency Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (RF MEMS) switches at actuation voltages comparable to the pull-in voltage. Analytical expressions for pull-in and pull-up time are also presented. Experimental data as well as finite element simulations of electrostatically actuated beams used in RF-MEMS switches show that the pull-in time is generally more than the pull-up time. Pull-in time being more than pull-up time is somewhat counter-intuitive because there is a much larger electrostatic force during pull-in than the restoring mechanical force during the release. We investigated this issue analytically and numerically using a 1D model for various applied voltages and attribute this to energetics, the rate at which the forces change with time, and softening of the overall effective stiffness of the electromechanical system. 3D finite element analysis is also done to support the 1D model-based analyses.


Keywords: RF MEMS, Pull-in time, Release time, Frequency pull-in effect


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