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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A 0.2 V Micro-Electromechanical Switch Enabled by a Phase Transition.

  • Author(s): Dong, Kaichen
  • Choe, Hwan Sung
  • Wang, Xi
  • Liu, Huili
  • Saha, Bivas
  • Ko, Changhyun
  • Deng, Yang
  • Tom, Kyle B
  • Lou, Shuai
  • Wang, Letian
  • Grigoropoulos, Costas P
  • You, Zheng
  • Yao, Jie
  • Wu, Junqiao
  • et al.

Micro-electromechanical (MEM) switches, with advantages such as quasi-zero leakage current, emerge as attractive candidates for overcoming the physical limits of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. To practically integrate MEM switches into CMOS circuits, two major challenges must be addressed: sub 1 V operating voltage to match the voltage levels in current circuit systems and being able to deliver at least millions of operating cycles. However, existing sub 1 V mechanical switches are mostly subject to significant body bias and/or limited lifetimes, thus failing to meet both limitations simultaneously. Here 0.2 V MEM switching devices with ≳106 safe operating cycles in ambient air are reported, which achieve the lowest operating voltage in mechanical switches without body bias reported to date. The ultralow operating voltage is mainly enabled by the abrupt phase transition of nanolayered vanadium dioxide (VO2 ) slightly above room temperature. The phase-transition MEM switches open possibilities for sub 1 V hybrid integrated devices/circuits/systems, as well as ultralow power consumption sensors for Internet of Things applications.

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