A 6.7 MHz Nanoelectromechanical Ring Oscillator Using Curved Cantilever Switches Coated with Amorphous Carbon
Nanoelectromechanical (NEM) switches have the potential to complement or replace traditional CMOS transistors in the area of ultra-low power digital electronics. This paper reports the demonstration of the first ring oscillator built using cell-level digital logic elements based on curved NEM switches. The NEM switch has a size of 5x3 mu m(2), an air gap of 60 nm and is coated with amorphous carbon (a-C) for reliable operation. The ring oscillator operates at a frequency of 6.7 MHz and confirms the simulated inverter propagation delay of 25 ns. The successful fabrication and measurement of this demonstrator is a key milestone on the way towards an optimized, scaled technology with sub-nanosecond switching times, lower operating voltages and VLSI implementation.