Experimental Validation of Topology Optimization for RF MEMS Capacitive Switch Design

Mandy Axelle Philippine, Hosein Zareie, Ole Sigmund, Gabriel M. Rebeiz, Thomas W. Kenny

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we present 30 distinct RF MEMS capacitive switch designs that are the product of topology optimizations that control key mechanical properties such as stiffness, response to intrinsic stress gradients, and temperature sensitivity. The designs were evaluated with high-accuracy simulations prior to micro-fabrication. We built and tested more than 170 switches, including at least five per distinct design. Experimental results confirm that the finite element models are accurate and that the switches behave as intended by the different optimizations. Extensive testing results include actuation and release voltages as a function of temperature, switching times, capacitance ratios, fitted S-parameters, and profile measurements during actuation and over temperature. $\hfill{[2013\hbox{-}0203]}$
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1296-1309
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Components, Circuits, Devices and Systems
  • Engineered Materials, Dielectrics and Plasmas
  • Topology optimization
  • Optimization
  • RF switch
  • Capacitive switch
  • Mechanical design
  • Stress stiffening
  • Temperature sensitivity


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