The dynamic response of resistive microswitches: Switching time and bouncing

Alessandro Granaldi, Paolo Decuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The dynamic response of a cantilever-based microswitch has been analyzed employing a one-degree-of-freedom model, placing particular emphasis on the interaction between the cantilever tip and the substrate which has been modeled introducing a general Lennard-Jones force. Five dimensionless key parameters have been identified, the most important being A1 - the ratio of the electrostatic actuation force versus the elastic restoring force - and Q - the quality factor which is inversely proportional to the damping coefficient of the system. From dynamic analysis three characteristic times have been derived: the time ti for establishing the first tip/substrate contact, the time tf for the final permanent contact and switch closure and the time interval Δt(≤tf - ti) during which the beam tip bounces several times over the substrate before achieving a full effective contact. It has been shown that the formulae currently available for the switching time, which neglect bouncing and damping, accurately estimate t i, but significantly underestimate the actual switching time which in fact coincides with tf. It has been predicted that as the actuation voltage increases, ti and tf reduce, whereas Δt and the number of bounces increase favoring mechanical damage as the tip/substrate interface. On the other hand, as the damping coefficient of the system increases, the number of bounces reduces monotonically, whereas tf has a biphasic behavior showing a minimum for an optimal Q. Maps have been presented which can be used in a preliminary design process of the cantilever-based switch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number002
Pages (from-to)1108-1115
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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