Robust RF MEMS capacitive shunt switches were fabricated on either silicon or quartz substrates. Most tested switches could handle hot switching up to at least 5.6 W at 15 GHz. However, the pull-in voltage of the switches fabricated on quartz had stronger power dependence than that on silicon. This is attributed by multi-physics finite-element analysis to greater self heating, thermal expansion mismatch, and impedance mismatch on quartz. These results show that the power-handling capacity of a switch is determined by not only its membrane design, but also its circuit environment.
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