MEMS switches include mobile beams in their mechanical structure and these suspended parts are essential for the device functioning. This paper illustrates the most important instability phenomena related to MEMS switches. Starting from the most important instability exploited in these devices—the electrical actuation—the paper also analyzes other important effects related to instability phenomena, which are very common in this type of technology. Instabilities due to dielectric charge trapping, fabrication tolerances, mechanical deformation, contact wear, and temperature variation are duly analyzed, giving a comprehensive view of the complexity encountered in the reliable functioning of these apparently simple devices.
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