Topology Optimization of Stressed Capacitive RF MEMS Switches

Mandy A. Philippine, Ole Sigmund, Gabriel M. Rebeiz, Thomas W. Kenny

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Geometry design can improve a capacitive radio-frequency microelectromechanical system switch's reliability by reducing the impacts of intrinsic biaxial stresses and stress gradients on the switch's membrane. Intrinsic biaxial stresses cause stress stiffening, whereas stress gradients cause out-of-plane curling. We use topology optimization to systematically generate designs, by minimizing stress stiffening, minimizing curling, or minimizing stress stiffening while constraining the curling behavior. We present the corresponding problem formulations and sensitivity derivations and discuss the role of key elements in the problem formulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalI E E E Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)206-215
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Geometry design
    • Intrinsic stress
    • Mechanical design
    • Radio-frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS)
    • Stress gradient
    • Topology optimization


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