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Tensile-stressed microelectromechanical apparatus and micromirrors formed therefrom

United States Patent

May 16, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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A microelectromechanical (MEM) apparatus is disclosed which includes one or more tensile-stressed actuators that are coupled through flexures to a stage on a substrate. The tensile-stressed actuators, which can be formed from tensile-stressed tungsten or silicon nitride, initially raise the stage above the substrate without any applied electrical voltage, and can then be used to control the height or tilt angle of the stage. An electrostatic actuator can also be used in combination with each tensile-stressed actuator. The MEM apparatus has applications for forming piston micromirrors or tiltable micromirrors and independently addressable arrays of such devices.
Fleming; James G. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 118,573
April 29, 2005
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04 94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.