A study of the dynamic behavior of an RF MEMS switch is presented at different operating conditions. Experimental results for the actuation and release time and Q-factor as a function of the ambient pressure and actuation voltage are compared to theoretical predictions based on existing model. Optimal operating conditions (ambient pressure and actuation voltage) are determined based on two criterions: minimal actuation and release time and minimal oscillations upon switch release. In light of the experimental results optimal operating conditions determined to be 1.4Vpi at a pressure of a few torrs where actuation and release time are equal and short enough with no release oscillations. Three pressure regimes are identified with characteristic behavior of the Q-factor and actuation and release time in each regime. These behaviors have significant implications in many MEMS devices, especially RF MEMS switches.

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