RF MEMS switch for reliability and batch fabrication
Switches are widely employed in microwave and radio frequency (RF) systems to provide agility and signal routing for efficient use of available spectrum and for component redundancy. The Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology has the potential of replacing many of RF switches used in today's mobile and satellite communication systems. In many cases, such RF MEMS switches would not only reduce substantially the size and power consumption, but also promise superior performance in comparison with current switch technologies. With the use of ever higher frequencies, two challenges remain very difficult to achieve for the RF-MEMS switches: functioning up to 20 GHz with minimal signal degradation, and high reliability. The University of Sherbrooke (U.S.) and the University of Waterloo (UW), in cooperation with Teledyne DALSA Semiconductor and Gale Micro-Technologies in Bromont (Quebec), propose this joint research project, to meet these challenges by developing packaged reliable RF-MEMS capable of operating up to 20 GHz. Achieving these goals requires expertise in the fields of RF engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, microfabrication and packaging technology. The proposed project brings together a multidisciplinary team to develop a new RF MEMS microfabrication process flow consistent with those of our industrial partners addressing reliability concerns and packaging requirements. The fabrication will be carried out in the state-of-the-art 200 mm MEMS cleanroom infrastructure of the MiQro innovation Collaborative Center (C2MI) that provide the opportunity to develop RF MEMS switches with industrial-grade processes and tools.
April, 2016 - December, 2019