Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Back-end-of-the-line MEMS switches for power management, ESD and security

Version 1 : Received: 21 December 2018 / Approved: 24 December 2018 / Online: 24 December 2018 (04:59:31 CET)

How to cite: Tazin, N.; Saab, D.G.; Tabib-Azar, M. Back-end-of-the-line MEMS switches for power management, ESD and security. Preprints 2018, 2018120268 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201812.0268.v1). Tazin, N.; Saab, D.G.; Tabib-Azar, M. Back-end-of-the-line MEMS switches for power management, ESD and security. Preprints 2018, 2018120268 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201812.0268.v1).

Abstract

This paper discusses a MEMS switch that can be fabricated using low temperature (<100oC) deposition and patterning techniques suitable for the back-end-of-the-line integration with CMOS. The resulting cross-bar switches can be used for electrostatic discharge protection, FPGA implementation, chip security assessment and lock-down, and circuit block power management. We discuss platinum and iron switch with turn-on voltages of ~ 1.8 V. In the case of the iron switches, we also show that they can be magnetized to have “memory” and stay on when turned on. Platinum switch cycling of up to 1000 times did not show any changes in their turn-on voltage and their contact resistance was unchanged. The 10-100 nm switch airgaps were formed using low temperature sputtered sacrificial polysilicon and XeF2 etching. XeF2 does not attack any of the metals used in CMOS enabling fabrication of cross-bar switches with any of these metals. Once activated, it takes ∿ 6  to mechanically turn on the switch that can be decreased to ~1 ns by optimizing the device structure. Interestingly, the nm-scale gaps can be used as spark gap as a fast plasma switch to discharge first followed by the activation of the MEMS switch.

Subject Areas

microelectromechanical systems (MEMS); electrostatic Discharge (ESD); back-end-of-line (BEOL); Memory Switch

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