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RF MEMS Advantages | RF MEMS Disadvantages

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of RF MEMS.It mentions RF MEMS advantages and RF MEMS disadvantages. RF MEMS stands for Radio Frequency Micro Electro Mechanical Systems.

MEMS devices are fabricated using Micromachining technique. It has been evolved from semiconductor device fabrication processes. There are two methods of MEMS integration viz. surface micromachining and bulk micromachining.

RF MEMS Advantages

Following are the RF MEMS advantages:
➨MEMS devices house both mechanical and electrical components in micro scale.
➨The MEMS devices are fabricated using IC batch processing methods and hence smaller sizes are achieved in nm to mm dimensions. Generally they are available in 20 micrometers to 1 millimeter sizes.
➨They provide better performance compare to non MEMS devices. MEMS device delivers low insertion loss, higher Q and utilizes very low current for operation.
➨It minimizes usage of energy and materials and hence lower the cost.
➨Various RF components such as RF switches, phase shifters, gyroscopes, accelerometers, sensors, oscillators, filters, RF antennas have been developed using this technology. Out of these, RF MEMS switches are used in test & measurement applications due to low switching time, low insertion loss and high isolation characteristics. Figure depicts RF MEMS switch.
➨RF MEMS devices are widely used across industries including automotive (to measure tire pressure, fuel pressure, oil pressure etc.), Biomedical (blood pressure sensor, implanted sensor etc.), electronics, telecom, defence etc.
➨MEMS devices are used in inkjet and bubblejet printers.
➨It helps in improving re-producibility, sensitivity, accuracy and reliability.
➨It is easy to alter parts of MEMS device compare to its macro counterpart.


RF MEMS Switch

Refer RF MEMS basics>> for more information.

RF MEMS Disadvantages

Following are the RF MEMS disadvantages:
➨MEMS device can not handle very high power due to its size and the material used in its construction i.e. Poly-Si. RF scientists are exploring to develop RF MEMS devices with better material quality and capacity to withstand high power.
➨Initial establishment requires huge investment.
➨Polysilicon used in the construction is a brittle material.
➨Design process involves complex procedures/processes.

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