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Tensile-stressed microelectromechanical apparatus and microelectromechanical relay formed therefrom

United States Patent

March 4, 2008
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 shuttle suspended above a substrate by two or more sets of tensile-stressed beams which are operatively connected to the shuttle and which can comprise tungsten or a silicon nitride/polysilicon composite structure. Initially, the tensile stress in each set of beams is balanced. However, the tensile stress can be unbalanced by heating one or more of the sets of beams; and this can be used to move the shuttle over a distance of up to several tens of microns. The MEM apparatus can be used to form a MEM relay having relatively high contact and opening forces, and with or without a latching capability.
Fleming; James G. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 103,311
April 11, 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.