This thesis describes the modeling and design issues of high force electrostatically actuated RFMEMS contact switches. Various reliability issues and challenges are associated with the design of RFMEMS contact switches. The reliability of microcontacts is of major importance in increasing the lifetime of such devices. A semi-analytical model based on the beam deflection theory is developed to calculate the contact force delivered by parallel-plate electrostatically actuated switch structures. The model is capable of fast and accurate static solution for complicated switch structures which are normally analyzed using finite element analysis techniques. High force designs are presented together with finite element simulations confirming the model results and reflecting on the reliability of these switch structures. The RF performance is expected to be comparable to recently announced commercial counterpart specifications. A simple all-metal surface micromachining technology providing thick electroplated nickel beams will be used to implement high force switch structures.


Physics Department

Degree Name

MS in Physics

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Shaarawi, Amr

Committee Member 1

Shaarawi, Amr

Committee Member 2

Tilmans, Harrie

Document Type



113 p.


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