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MEMS RF Switches with Ultra-High Switching Speeds

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: DAAH0101CR180
Agency Tracking Number: 00SB1-0027
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2001
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
550 N. Continental Blvd.
El Segundo, CA 90245
United States
DUNS: 782323885
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Frank Djuth
 (310) 322-1160
Business Contact
 Frank Djuth
Title: President
Phone: (310) 322-1160
Research Institution

The proposed investigation focuses on the research and development of a fundamentally new, high-speed, radio-frequency (RF) switch. It is designed for frequencies in the range 1-100 GHz. The switch is predicted on thin-film microelectromechanical systems(MEMS) technology with piezoelectric actuation. In general, piezoelectric materials develop strain when an electric field is present, which allows mechanical expansion and contraction of the material to be controlled by an applied voltage. Unliketraditional electrostatic MEMS switches, the closing force between the metal-to-metal contacts can be significantly improved by increasing the bias voltage (electric field strength) across the piezoelectric material. Because the switch restoring force islarge, in-use stiction is greatly mitigated with this architecture. The piezoelectric material lead zirconate titanate (PZT) is used as an actuator in the current project. This makes new mechanical designs feasible. Three strategies are suggested forlowering the switch time constant into the tens of nanoseconds range while preserving other important characteristics of the switch (e.g. high isolation, low resistive losses). These include a bimorph design, piezoelectric extensional bars, andflextensional actuators. Combinations of these strategies are likely to yield a high-performance switch.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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