Thin film dielectrics have broad applications, and the performance degradation due to charge trapping in these thin films is an important and pervasive reliability concern. We develop a comprehensive dielectric charging modeling framework which solves for the transient and steady state charge accumulation and leakage currents in an amorphous dielectric. In order to correctly characterize dielectrics from their steady state leakage current characteristics, we propose an improved technique based on an analytical approximation of the dielectric charging model. Next, we study Radio Frequency Microelectromechanical Systems (RF-MEMS) capacitive switches as one of the target applications of these thin film dielectrics. Charge accumulation in dielectrics in RF-MEMS capacitive switches result in temporal shifts in actuation voltages, eventually resulting in failure due to stiction. We propose fundamental scaling relationships in electromechanical actuators in general, which are independent of specific physical dimensions and material properties. Finally, we propose a novel fully electronic, resonance based characterization technique for RF-MEMS capacitive switches to quantify degradation due to dielectric charging, which overcomes several limitations in conventionally used methods.
Sambit Palit received the B.Tech. degree in electrical engineering and the M.Tech. degree in microelectronics from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India in 2008. He is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN - USA. His current research interests include reliability modeling and electrical characterization of thin-?lm dielectrics and related devices, and, more broadly, in modeling and simulation of micro- and nanoelectronic devices.