Research Article Open Access

Design and Simulation of Microelectromechanical System Capacitive Shunt Switches

Haslina Jaafar1, Othman Sidek1, Azman Miskam1 and Shukri Korakkottil1
  • 1 University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia


Problem statement: RF MEMS switch is one of MEMS area that creates devices that have great potential to improve the performance of communication circuits and systems and enables the realization of micro size mechanical switches embedded in electronics devices. The low voltage switches are necessary due to their compatibility of standard IC technology in RF application and microelectronics systems. In realizing MEMS switches with low actuation voltage, spring constant of beam must be reduced. Design and simulation of capacitive RF MEMS shunt switches with regards to the pull in voltage were presented. Approach: Design and simulation had been done by using commercial simulation package, CoventorWare 2006. Several switches were designed with different meander spring beams to obtain lower voltage actuations using Architect Module in CoventorWare 2006. Results: Results verified with Finite Element Method (FEM) and simple mathematical modeling. Each design gave different voltage actuations. The lowest actuation voltage simulated was 1.9 V. Average difference of simulated and calculated values was about 16%. This is because no fringing field was included in calculation. Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis was done for switch C. Results showed that lower voltage can be obtained by using serpentine spring which lowers the spring constant and pull-in voltage as well. The lower pull-in time was primarily due to its very small dimensions and mass Conclusion: Low-voltage capacitive shunt RF MEMS switches were designed and simulated. These switches had actuation voltages of 1.9-7.0 V depending on the serpentine design. The other performance particularly switch C had a pull-in time of 15 μ sec after a voltage of 0-20 V was applied and the resonant frequency is 3153.1 Hz.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 2 No. 4, 2009, 655-660


Submitted On: 4 March 2009 Published On: 31 December 2009

How to Cite: Jaafar, H., Sidek, O., Miskam, A. & Korakkottil, S. (2009). Design and Simulation of Microelectromechanical System Capacitive Shunt Switches. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 2(4), 655-660.

  • 10 Citations



  • MEMS
  • capacitive switches
  • pull-in voltage
  • serpentine
  • meander beams
  • low voltage