CMOS transistor based digital logic technology has delivered spectacular levels of device integration and processing capability since its advent. However, traditional CMOS device performance remains limited in harsh environments, such as high temperature or irradiated environments. Electrostatically actuated MEMS/NEMS switches offer improved performance in these environments. In this work, out-of-plane three terminal microswitches suitable for digital logic are presented. Each switch consists of a suspended fixed-fixed bowtie shaped electroplated nickel beam (300μm × 250μm × ∼2μm) buckled out-of-plane over a 10μm wide gold electrode on a LPCVD nitride coated low resistance Si substrate, which acts as a common gate electrode. Atomic layer deposited (ALD) alumina (100nm thick) is incorporated as a sacrificial layer to keep the fabrication processing low temperature and provide precise gap uniformity across chip. Steady-state I-V performance results are presented showing contact voltages between 17–36V. Mechanical modeling of the beam deformation is performed using commercial FEA software and compared to the actual measured beam response. These devices offer a valid approach for simple MEMS based logic circuitry with proper film stress management and geometry scaling.

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