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Review of radio frequency microelectromechanical systems technology

Review of radio frequency microelectromechanical systems technology

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A review of radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS) technology, from the perspective of its enabling technologies (e.g. fabrication, RF micromachined components and actuation mechanisms) is presented. A unique roadmap is given that shows how enabling technologies, RF MEMS components, RF MEMS circuits and RF microsystems packaging are linked together; leading towards enhanced integrated subsystems. An overview of the associated fabrication technologies is given, in order to distinguish between the two distinct classes of RF microsystems' component technologies; non-MEMS micromachined and true MEMS. An extensive literature survey has been undertaken and key papers have been cited; from these, the motivations behind different RF MEMS technologies are highlighted. The importance of understanding the limitations for realising new and innovative ideas in RF MEMS is discussed. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to where future RF MEMS technology may lead. It is likely that the switch will continue to be the most important RF MEMS component, with future work investigating its enhanced functionality, subsystem integration and volume production. The focus of RF MEMS circuits will shift from the digital phase shifter to high-Q tuneable filters.

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