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Tensile-stressed microelectromechanical apparatus and tiltable micromirrors formed therefrom

United States Patent

January 9, 2007
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A microelectromechanical (MEM) apparatus is disclosed which includes a pair of tensile-stressed actuators suspending a platform above a substrate to tilt the platform relative to the substrate. A tensile stress built into the actuators initially tilts the platform when a sacrificial material used in fabrication of the MEM apparatus is removed. Further tilting of the platform can occur with a change in the ambient temperature about the MEM apparatus, or by applying a voltage to one or both of the tensile-stressed actuators. The MEM apparatus can be used to form a tiltable micromirror or an array of such devices, and also has applications for thermal management within satellites.
Fleming; James G. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 146,811
June 7, 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.