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Modeling and Characterization of Superconducting MEMS for Microwave Applications in Radioastronomy

N. Al Cheikh[1], P. Xavier[1], J. Duchamp[1], and K. Schuster[2]
[1]Institute of Microelectronics, Electromagnetism and Photonics (IMEP-LAHC), Grenoble, France
[2]Institute of Millimetrics Radio Astronomy (IRAM), Grenoble, France

Superconducting GHz electronics circuits are frequently used in Radio Astronomy instrumentation. The features of these instrumentations can be significantly improved by using tuneable capacitances, which can be realized by electrically actuated, micromechanical bridges (MEMS) made of superconducting Niobium (Nb). In order to analyze the electromechanical behavior of such devices and the intrinsic stress gradient induced during the fabrication process, COMSOL simulations of the bridges have been performed. The simulations are in agreement with the theoretical approach and are experimentally validated.