Temperature dependence and characterization of gold thin film actuated membranes for radio frequency microelectromechanical switches

Julien Noel, Florida International University

Abstract

Over the last 10 years, the development and the understanding of the mechanical properties of thin film material have been essential for improving the reliability and lifetime in operation of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Although the properties of a bulk material might be well characterized, thin-film properties are considerably different from those of the bulk and it cannot be assumed that mechanical properties measured using bulk specimens will apply to the same materials when used as a thin film in MEMS. For many microelectronic thin films, the material properties depend strongly on the details of the deposition process and the growth conditions on its substrate. ^ The purpose of this dissertation is to determine the temperature dependence of a gold thin film membrane on the pull down voltage of a MEMS switch as the temperature is varied from room temperature (300 K) to cryogenic temperature (10 K). For this purpose, an RF MEMS shunt switch was designed and fabricated. The switch is composed of a gold coplanar waveguide structure with a gold bridge membrane suspended above an area of the center conductor which is covered by a dielectric (BaTiO3). The gold membrane is actuated by an electrostatic force acting between the transmission line and the membrane when voltage is applied. ^ Material characterization of the gold evaporated thin film membrane was obtained via AFM, SEM, TEM and X-ray diffraction analyses. A mathematical relation was used to estimate the pull down voltage of the switch at cryogenic temperature and results showed that the mathematical theory match the experimental values of the tested MEMS switches. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Electronics and Electrical

Recommended Citation

Noel, Julien, "Temperature dependence and characterization of gold thin film actuated membranes for radio frequency microelectromechanical switches" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3298593.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3298593

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