Simulating an RF MEMS Switch

Lexi Carver January 7, 2014

An RF MEMS switch is an electromechanical component found in RF systems. It usually consists of a micromechanical bridge or cantilever, a substrate, and an electrode or dielectric layer. These devices can switch at RF frequencies and tend to have high isolation, i.e. power loss when the switch turns off; low insertion loss (loss of signal power when the switch is on), and extremely low (almost zero!) power consumption. Let’s take a look at how you can use COMSOL Multiphysics […]

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Fanny Griesmer January 3, 2014

Before conducting certain blood sample analyses, researchers need to separate the red blood cell particles from the blood plasma. Using lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology, red blood cell separation can be achieved via magnetophoresis (i.e., motion induced by magnetic fields). Since the magnetic permeability of the particles is different from the blood plasma, their trajectory can be controlled within the flow channel of the LOC device and then separated out from the fluid.

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Mads Herring Jensen January 2, 2014

I recently had the pleasure of preparing a small contribution to the 166th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (Fall 2013) together with Wade Conklin and Jordan Schultz from Knowles Electronics. Wade presented our paper entitled “Characterization of a microelectromechanical microphone using the finite element method”. The work consisted of implementing a virtual prototype of a Knowles MEMS microphone (the SPU0409LE5H microphone, see picture below) using COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Alexandra Foley December 30, 2013

Not too long ago, my colleague Jennifer wrote a blog post about the Cross Cancer Institute, and the research being conducted there into the design of a new device for treating cancerous tumors. The device, known as the Linac-MR, is revolutionary due to its ability to both image and treat cancer cells simultaneously — a capability that had previously been regarded as near impossible due to the conflicting physics interactions involved. Such a device would allow for extremely precise radiation […]

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Laura Bowen December 24, 2013

During snow storms or windy days, a branch might break and short-circuit a power line’s electric current as it falls. The first task of a recloser is to interrupt this short-circuit, i.e. to open or disconnect the affected overhead line from the feeding network source. The second task is to try to re-establish power after a short time by to re-closing the line, taking advantage of the fact that most of the reasons for a short-circuit of an overhead line […]

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Daniel Smith December 11, 2013

Microwave plasmas, or wave-heated discharges, find applications in many industrial areas such as semiconductor processing, surface treatment, and the abatement of hazardous gases. This blog post describes the theoretical basis of the Microwave Plasma interface available in the Plasma Module.

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Christopher Boucher December 5, 2013

The trajectories of particles through fields can often be modeled using a one-way coupling between physics interfaces. In other words, we can first compute the fields, such as an electric field, magnetic field, or fluid velocity field, and then use these fields to exert forces on the particles using the Particle Tracing Module. If the number density of the particles is very large, however, the particles begin to noticeably perturb the fields around them, and a two-way coupling is needed […]

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Magnus Olsson December 2, 2013

When designing inductive devices, both challenges and possibilities are associated with the nonlinear behavior of ferromagnetic materials. COMSOL Multiphysics is well-adapted to the solution of highly nonlinear numerical models but high-fidelity modeling of nonlinear inductive devices also requires accurate material data. To meet this challenge, a library of 165 nonlinear magnetic materials is provided in COMSOL 4.4, bringing new powers to the design and modeling of electric motors, transformers, relays, etc. Here, we will discuss how the modeling process is […]

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Fanny Griesmer November 18, 2013

Joule heating is a fairly standard type of simulation for COMSOL users nowadays. It involves solving for electrical voltage and temperature fields simultaneously with highly temperature-dependent material properties. Controlling Joule heating is very important when designing and manufacturing electrical systems components. The electric protection group at manufacturing company Mersen France used to base their busbar and fuse designs on trial-and-error, but these days they turn to COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Fanny Griesmer November 8, 2013

There were many interesting posters at this year’s COMSOL Conference in Boston. A couple that caught my eye involved microwave heating and chemical applications. One of them showcases the use of microwave irradiation to speed up chemical reactions. Another — one of the recipients of the Best Poster award — used simulations to optimize their microreactor design with respect to microwave propagation.

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Bernt Nilsson October 24, 2013

Households and industries alike depend on reliable electrical power. To serve the diverse power needs of end users and consumers, the electrical grid is undergoing a major overhaul to upgrade a technology that is over 100 years old. The new infrastructure — the smart grid — is being developed for reliable, economic, and environmentally friendly electrical systems. A great example of equipment for the smart grid comes from ABB. Along with many other products, ABB has introduced the world’s fastest […]

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