Reduction of initial stress stiffening by topology optimization

M. A. Philippine, Ole Sigmund, G. M. Rebeiz, T. W. Kenny

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Topology optimization is a rigorous method of obtaining non-intuitive designs. We use it to obtain a capacitive RF switch that stiffens little in response to an increase of the in-plane biaxial stresses that typically develop during MEMS fabrication. The actuation voltage is closely related to the membrane's stiffness, and is more stable for a stress insensitive switch. We employ the Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization (SIMP) method with the Method of Moving Asymptotes (MMA) and a robust formulation to minimize the ratio between the compliance at a low stress level and that at a high stress level. We include a volume constraint and a compliance constraint. Topology optimized designs are compared to an intuitively-designed RF switch. The switches contain similar features. The compliance constraint is varied such that the topology optimized switch performance approaches the intuitively-designed one. Finally, the importance of the compliance constraint and of the robust formulation are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2012 Symposium on Design, Test, Integration and Packaging of MEMS/MOEMS (DTIP)
Number of pages6
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-0785-7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event2012 Symposium on Design, Test, Integration and Packaging of MEMS/MOEMS (DTIP) - Cannes Côte d'Azur, France
Duration: 25 Apr 201227 Apr 2012


Conference2012 Symposium on Design, Test, Integration and Packaging of MEMS/MOEMS (DTIP)
CityCannes Côte d'Azur
Internet address


  • elastic constants
  • microfabrication
  • microswitches
  • optimisation
  • topology

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