A hybrid RF MEMS switch actuated by the combination of bidirectional thermal actuations and electrostatic holding

Uikyu Chae, Hyun Yong Yu, Changhyuk Lee, Il Joo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Radio frequency microelectro-mechanical system (RF MEMS) switches have received attention due to their higher performances at high frequencies compared with semiconductor-based switches. However, most of the previous MEMS switches used electrostatic actuation, which requires a high actuation voltage and has a low actuation force. Herein, we propose a new hybrid RF MEMS switch for low-voltage and low-power operation that is actuated by the combination of bidirectional thermal actuation and electrostatic holding. The proposed hybrid RF MEMS switch is actuated by the combination of two actuation mechanisms, i.e.: 1) bidirectional thermal actuation of the large force with low actuation voltage and 2) electrostatic holding for low-power consumption. The large actuation force enables high signal isolation at the 'OFF' state of the switch because of the high initial gap between the signal line and the contact metal. Also, the bidirectional thermal actuator that enables upward actuation prevents any stiction of the membrane, which enhances both the power handling capability and the reliability of the actuator. In this work, we successfully fabricated the proposed RF MEMS switch and measured both its mechanical characteristics and RF characteristics. The required actuation voltage for the switch is less than 0.3 V for thermal actuation, and the required voltage for electrostatic holding is 15.4 V. The power consumption was measured as 3.24 μJ per switching. Also, we measured the RF characteristics, and the insertion loss of signals was 0.23 dB at 2.4 GHz, and the isolation of signals was 38.80 dB at 2.4 GHz.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9130910
Pages (from-to)3461-3470
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received March 8, 2020; revised May 8, 2020; accepted May 14, 2020. Date of publication July 1, 2020; date of current version August 5, 2020. This work was supported in part by the Technology Innovation Program under Grant 10053023, in part by the Development of RF MEMS Device Core Technology for Multi-Band IoT System Applications funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MI, South Korea), in part by the Brain Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean Government (MSIT) under Grant NRF-2017M3C7A 1028854, and in part by the KIST Institutional Program under Grant 2E30080. (Corresponding author: Il-Joo Cho.) Uikyu Chae is with the Center for BioMicrosystems, Brain Science Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul 02792, South Korea, and also with the School of Electrical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, South Korea (e-mail: [email protected]).

Publisher Copyright:
© 1963-2012 IEEE.


  • Bidirectional actuation
  • Radio frequency microelectro-mechanical system (RF MEMS) switch
  • electrostatic holding
  • low actuation voltage
  • thermal actuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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