Welcome to PRISM at Discovery Park

Current Research

Target System

Target System

The focus of PRISM research is a contacting radio frequency (RF) capacitative MEMS, a type of device is widely used for contact actuators and capacitative switches, and involves metal-dielectric contact.

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Failure Modes

Though the technology has much promise, RF MEMS switches are prone to a variety of failure mechanisms. Dielectric charging is caused by trapped charges inside the thin dielectric layer and leads to uncontrollable changes of the actuation voltage versus time, and eventually, complete device failure.

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Research Thrusts

The work to be undertaken by PRISM is divided into three science thrusts and two cross-cutting thrusts.

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Verification and Validation

Verification, validation and uncertainty quantification are central to PRISM’s predictive simulation efforts. We adopt a tier-wise approach, building on the complexity of our experiments and simulations progressively. A particular focus of the Center is the use of methods based on polynomial chaos for uncertainty propagation.

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Driving Directions for Visitors

Driving Directions

Tours of Discovery Park are available all year for business,
classrooms, students, or anyone else looking to learn
something new!


PRISM leverages advances in nanoscale science and engineering to create innovative nanotechnologies addressing societal challenges and opportunities in computing, communications, the environment, security, energy independence, and health.

Current Events

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Matt Potrawski
Managing Director, PRISM Center
Purdue University
Birck Nanotechnology Center
1205 W. State St., Suite 2027
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088