Strategies for dynamic soft-landing in capacitive microelectromechanical switches

Ankit Jain
Pradeep Nair, Purdue University
Muhammad Ashraful Alam, Purdue University

Date of this Version



Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (Volume: 21, Issue: 2, April 2012)


Electromechanical dielectric degradation associated with the hard landing of movable electrode is a technology-inhibiting reliability concern for capacitive RF-MEMS switches. In this letter, we propose two schemes for dynamic soft-landing that obviate the need for external feedback circuitry. Instead, the proposed resistive and capacitive braking schemes can reduce impact velocity significantly without compromising other performance characteristics like pull-in voltage and pull-in time. Resistive braking is achieved by inserting a resistance in series with the voltage source whereas capacitive braking requires patterning of the electrode or the dielectric. Our results have important implications to the design and optimization of reliability aware electrostatically actuated MEMS switches.


Electro-Mechanical Systems | Electronic Devices and Semiconductor Manufacturing