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Caractérisation de phénomènes physiques associés à l'ouverture et à la fermeture dans un relais MEMS

Abstract : This thesis aims to improve the reliability of ohmic MEMS switches and focuses on the degradation mechanisms of the electrical contact at the micro and nano-scales. The first two chapters of the manuscript provide a state-of-the-art of MEMS switches and describe the different experimental techniques used to characterize the physical phenomena involved in the opening and closure of a MEMS switch under current ("hot switching actuation"). The third chapter investigates qualitatively and quantitatively the material transfer at sub micrometer scale. An Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is used to identify the main parameters involved in this phenomenon such as the opening contact voltage and the closing velocity. The origin of the material transfer is attributed to field emission in the last tens of nanometers before the contact closure. A metallic plasma is also observed and characterized during switching operations. According to the different observations, a scenario is suggested to explain material transfer at such small dimensions. The fourth chapter deals with dynamic observation during switching operations. First, bounces can be detected after a few millions of operations, they usually appear a few μs just after the first contact. Such bounces seem to be an early indicator of the lifetime of those devices. Other types of bounces related to the electrostatic contact force can be observed at very low closing velocity (a few nm/s). Nevertheless in a MEMS switch the closing and opening velocity is high enough to avoid such bounces. The second part of this chapter investigates the contact conductance quantization during the opening phase of a contact. We show that this phenomenon can be observed in a MEMS switch and with an AFM when the current is lower than 100μA. As a conclusion, several recommendations are provided to improve the reliability of MEMS switches.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 11:29:57 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01024488, version 1




Alexis Peschot. Caractérisation de phénomènes physiques associés à l'ouverture et à la fermeture dans un relais MEMS. Sciences de l'ingénieur [physics]. Université de Grenoble, 2013. Français. ⟨tel-01024488⟩



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