Contact degradation in hot/cold operation of direct contact micro-switches

  title={Contact degradation in hot/cold operation of direct contact micro-switches},
  author={Z. Yang and Daniel J. Lichtenwalner and Arthur S. Morris and Jacqueline Krim and Angus I. Kingon},
  journal={Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering},
Degradation of gold contacts in micro-switches was studied under an extensive range of operation conditions including high-electric-field ac/dc hot switching, low-electric-field hot switching and cold switching. Tests were conducted in a unique experimental switching operation set-up. Gold micro-contacts were characterized by an atomic force microscope. It was found that a unique material transfer/distribution feature was correlated with specific switching operations. New insights into contact… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Hot-switched lifetime and damage characteristics of MEMS switch contacts
Using a custom built contact testing system, direct current micro contact damage under hot-switching conditions was explored in ruthenium-on-ruthenium contacts operated at a contact force of
Hot switching damage mechanisms in MEMS contacts—evidence and understanding
Using an AFM-based test setup, experiments were performed on Ru microcontacts under a variety of leading and trailing edge hot switching conditions, including different voltages, different currents,
Complementary Dual-Contact Switch Using Soft and Hard Contact Materials for Achieving Low Contact Resistance and High Reliability Simultaneously
This paper reports a dual-contact microelectromechanical switch, which consists of two contacts in a single switch: one with a soft contact material and the other with a hard contact material to
Effects of Hot Switching and Contamination on Contact Reliability of Pt-Coated Microswitches
  • Changho Oh, M. D. de Boer
  • Materials Science
    IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology
  • 2020
Hot switching and hydrocarbon-induced contact activation limit the lifetimes and exacerbate the surface erosion/damage in switches. However, the relative effects of voltage and contamination have not
Reliability in Hot Switched Ruthenium on Ruthenium MEMS Contacts
Although metal-to-metal direct contact MEMS switches are a promising alternative to solid state switches in RF communication systems, the reliability of their electrical contacts has proven to be a
Key improvements of the MEMS switch lifetime thanks to a dielectric-free design and contact reliability investigations in hot/cold switching operations
Dielectric charging and contact degradations are the two major challenges to improve the lifetime of series ohmic electrostatic MEMS switches. This paper details our approach and our main results to
Extension of the Hot-Switching Reliability of RF-MEMS Switches Using a Series Contact Protection Technique
This paper presents a design methodology to drastically improve the hot-switching reliability of contact-type radio frequency microelectromechanical system (RF-MEMS) switches. In the proposed design,
Contact reliability in ohmic microswitches
Abstract The contact reliability issue in ohmic radio frequency microelectromechanical system switches is particularly challenging due to their low actuation force (the contact/restoring force is
Highly Reliable Compact RF-MEMS Contact Switch: Design, Fabrication and Characterization
Author(s): Liu, Y | Abstract: The dissertation presents techniques that can address reliability degradation of radio frequency micro-electromechanical (RF-MEMS) metal contact switches due to
A review of micro-contact physics for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) metal contact switches
Innovations in relevant micro-contact areas are highlighted, these include, design, contact resistance modeling, contact materials, performance and reliability. For each area the basic theory and


Effect of nanoscale heating on electrical transport in RF MEMS switch contacts
This paper explores contact heating in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches with contact spot sizes less than 100 nm in diameter. Experiments are conducted to demonstrate that contact
Contact voltage-induced softening of RF microelectromechanical system gold-on-gold contacts at cryogenic temperatures
A series of experiments were performed in vacuum environments to investigate the impact of rf micromechanical system switch contact voltage versus resistance for gold-on-gold contacts at cryogenic
Fundamental studies of Au contacts in MEMS RF switches
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) radio frequency (RF) switches hold great promise in a myriad of commercial, aerospace, and military applications. However, there is little understanding of the
A new test facility for efficient evaluation of MEMS contact materials
A novel test facility for the efficient evaluation of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches and the development of alternative contact materials is described. The facility utilizes the upper
Effect of arc behavior on material transfer: a review
  • Zhuan-Ke Chen, K. Sawa
  • Materials Science
    Electrical Contacts - 1996. Proceedings of the Forty-Second IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts. Joint with the 18th International Conference on Electrical Contacts
  • 1996
One of the serious problems of arcing in relays and switches is leading to material transfer, thus resulting in the loss of contact material and the early end of lifetime. Although this phenomenon
Impact of in situ oxygen plasma cleaning on the resistance of Ru and Au-Ru based rf microelectromechanical system contacts in vacuum
Contact resistance measurements are reported for radio frequency microelectromechanical system switches operating in an ultrahigh vacuum system equipped with in situ oxygen plasma cleaning
Study of contacts in an electrostatically actuated microswitch
  • S. Majumder, N. McGruer, +4 authors J. Krim
  • Engineering
    Electrical Contacts - 1998. Proceedings of the Forty-Fourth IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts (Cat. No.98CB36238)
  • 1998
Surface micromachined, electrostatically actuated microswitches have been developed at Northeastern University. Microswitches have an initial contact resistance of 0.5-1 /spl Omega/, and current
Resolution of the transfer direction of field-evaporated gold atoms for nanofabrication and microelectromechanical system applications
Field evaporation is an important phenomenon utilized in probe-based nanofabrication as well as a potential factor in contact reliability of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches. Previous
Surface roughness, asperity contact and gold RF MEMS switch behavior
Modeling predictions and experimental measurements were obtained to characterize the electro-mechanical response of radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical (MEM) switches due to variations in
Effects of an electric field in atomic manipulations.
  • Tsong
  • Materials Science, Medicine
    Physical review. B, Condensed matter
  • 1991
A method for creating a thermally stable top surface layer with an atomic pattern of embedded foreign atoms of one's design, using electric-field manipulations and atomic replacement, is described.