Electrostatic fringing-field actuation for pull-in free RF-MEMS analogue tunable resonators
Date of this Version9-2012
J Small, W Irshad, A Fruehling, A Garg, X Liu and D Peroulis. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Volume 22, Number 9
This paper presents the design, fabrication and measurement of the first pull-in free tunable evanescent-mode microwave resonator based on arrays of electrostatically actuated fringing-field RF-MEMS tuners. Electrostatic fringing-field actuation (EFFA) is the key on achieving a wide tunable frequency range that is not limited by the conventional pull-in instability. Furthermore, total lack of dielectric layers and no overlap between the pull-down electrode and movable beams significantly enhance the robustness of our proposed tuning mechanism by making it devoid of dielectric charging and stiction and amenable to high-yield manufacturing. The proposed electrostatic fringing-field tuners are demonstrated in a highly loaded evanescent-mode cavity-based resonator. The measured unloaded quality factor is 280-515 from 12.5 to 15.5 GHz. In addition, a 10x improvement in switching time is demonstrated for the first time for EFFA tuners in a tunable microwave component by employing dc-dynamic biasing waveforms. With dynamic biasing, the measured up-to-down and down-to-up switching times of the resonator are 190 and 148 mu s, respectively. On the other hand, conventional step biasing results in switching times of 5.2 and 8 ms for up-to-down and down-to-up states, respectively.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology