Comparison of Gold/Platinum and Gold/Ruthenium Contacts on Piezoelectrically Actuated RF MEMS Switches

Report No. ARL-TR-5218
Authors: Robert Proie, Daniel Judy, Ronald G. Polcawich, and Jeffrey Pulskamp
Date/Pages: June 2010; 18 pages
Abstract: Lead zirconate titanite (PZT) radio frequency (RF) microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) were fabricated with half of the switches on each wafer-approximately 30 switches-using the typical gold/platinum contacts and using gold (Au)/ruthenium (Ru) contacts for the other half. We measured several important parameters using an Electroglass automated probe station, including contact resistance, actuatoion voltage, and bias current. The switches were cycled a number of times and the measurements were repeated. In addition, samples of five switches of each type were cycled to failure, and the mean output voltage was logged to assess the effect of these contact materials on the lifetime.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2010