A Highly Reliable Two-Axis MEMS Relay Demonstrating a Novel Contact Refresh Method


This paper reports on a two-axis actuated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) relay to realize a unique contact-refresh concept. As compared with all different conventional MEMS relays utilizing only many designated contact spots throughout their whole lifetime, the proposed concept can amendment the $64000 contact spots (asperities) by altering the lateral position of contact asperities, so providing highly reliable contact endurance. Moreover, it will enhance lifetime of the switches that fail by contact resistance increase, and potentially even for switches that fail by contact stiction if the contact position is modified before a critical range of switching cycles is reached; however, the device inevitably encompasses a relatively giant device space and extra control circuitry during this stage of development. The fabricated relays showed vertical actuation voltages below 40 V, a switching delay of a hundred ninety μs, and a maximum lateral displacement of 10 μm. Owing to the advised contact-refresh scheme, the full contact endurance in one switching device was dramatically increased, and the total of dozens of lifetimes measured at the selected lateral positions reached half dozen × 107 cycles at a hundred mA in hot switching conditions (Au-to-Au contact), which is sort of 50 times more than the common worth of the measured lifetimes during a designated contact spot.

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