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SBIR Phase I: High-Power RF MEMS Switch

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NanoMEMS Research, LLC
18 Arese Aisle Irvine, CA 92606-8354
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: SBIR Phase I: High-Power RF MEMS Switch
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0539240
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project aims at demonstrating a novel radio frequency Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (RF MEMS) switch capable of handling high-power RF/microwave signals. Communication systems exploit switches in many ways, such as signal routing and system reconfigurability, thus, it is imperative that switches be noninvasive. This means that the only hint of their presence should be negligible insertion loss in the passing state, and negligible transmission in the blocking state, regardless of the signal power level being processed. While the performance of current RF MEMS switches is almost ideal, this has been mostly demonstrated at relatively low-power signal levels (e.g., sub-Watt), where undesirable effects that ruin their performance, such as self-actuation and heat-induced deformation, which are occasioned by high power signals, are absent. There is a need, therefore, for RF MEMS switches that can maintain the high levels of performance enabled by this technology even when handling high-power signals. The proposed research has three primary objectives: 1) to design a novel high-power RF MEMS switch; 2) to demonstrate its low-cost manufacturability; and 3) to demonstrate its high-power performance. The research will address key technical challenges related to switch architecture to maximize its switching life and power handling capability. The successful outcome of this research will enable new capabilities in high-end systems, such as aerospace and defense systems, wireless infrastructure, and instrumentation. The proposed research program and product development efforts will foster multi-physics computational modeling, materials characterization and investigation of thermal transport mechanisms in thin films. This will promote interdisciplinary research and education among students. Moreover, participation in a commercial product development process will add an additional dimension to their educational experience.

Principal Investigator:

Hector DeLosSantos

Business Contact:

Hector J. DeLosSantos
Small Business Information at Submission:

NanoMEMS Research, LLC
18 Arese Aisle Irvine, CA 92606

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No