A novel direct contact micro-device has been developed with periodically micro-grooved lateral metal contacts on the sidewall of the MEMS relay. The uniqueness of the design lies in the self-cleaning mechanism of the microgrooved lateral metal contacts. The concept-proving device is fabricated by integrating a high aspect ratio polymer beam structure with lateral metal contacts. The long lifecycle test shows that the contact resistance has been maintained below 0.1 ohm over 10 billion cycles. The switch design is compatible to the surface micromachining processes and can be readily integrated into a fully functional MEMS relay. Our design opens the possibility of direct contact MEMS switch for both high power and low cost wireless applications.

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