At the present time, the insertion of radio frequency microelectromechanical switches into real architecture requires reduced actuation voltages, reduced dimensions, and better control of the electrical and electromechanical behavior that gives more importance to surface effects, their understanding, and modeling. The use of such devices requires the development of methods for estimating the contact performances as a function of surface roughness, contact materials, and contact topologies. With increase in computation capabilities, the rough surface topography can be implemented in the finite element model but implies long calculation times or even calculation overloading if a high definition of the roughness is desired. To reduce these limitations, assumptions on the microgeometry are required. This paper treats, by use of finite element modeling, the influence of the definition of roughness of contacting switch members on the electrical contact resistance of resistive switches, and investigates the error introduced by using a minimum defined atomic force microscope sampling interval of 10 nm. The present numerical analysis is implemented for switch test structures.
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