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RF Switches using Phase Change Materials

Muzhi Wang, Feng Lin

Sponsor: DARPA DARPA

Phase change materials are attractive candidates for use in ohmic switches as they can be thermally transitioned between amorphous and crystalline states, showing several orders of magnitude change in resistivity. Phase change switches are fast, small form factor, and can be readily integrated with MEMS and CMOS electronics. As such, they have a great potential for implementing next-generation high-speed reconfigurable RF modules. In this project, we investigate new switch architecture using GeTe as the resistance change or phase change layer. We demonstrated switches with cutoff frequency in THz range and low On resistance of less than 2 ohm. We further analyze the non-linear mechanism limiting the power handling and IIP3 of phase change switches using a new electrothermal model.

M. Wang, Y. Shim, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "A Low-loss directly heated two-port RF phase change switch," IEEE Electron Device Letters, accepted, 2014.

M. Wang and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Directly heated four-terminal phase change switches," IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS'14), Best Paper Award Finalist, accepted, 2014.

Y. Shim and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Non-linearity analysis of RF ohmic switches based on phase change materials," IEEE Electron Device Letters, in press, Feb, 2014.

Y. Shim, G. Hummel, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "RF switches using phase change materials," IEEE International Conference on Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS’13), Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 237-240, Jan, 2013.

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