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Apparatus for raising or tilting a micromechanical structure

United States Patent

September 9, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An active hinge apparatus is disclosed which can be used to raise a micromechanical structure (e.g. a plate or micromirror) on a substrate. The active hinge apparatus utilizes one or more of teeth protruding outward from an axle which also supports the micromechanical structure on one end thereof. A rack is used to engage the teeth and rotate the axle to raise the micromechanical structure and tilt the structure at an angle to the substrate. Motion of the rack is provided by an actuator which can be a mechanically-powered actuator, or alternately an electrostatic comb actuator or a thermal actuator. A latch can be optionally provided in the active hinge apparatus to lock the micromechanical structure in an "erected" position.
Allen; James J. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 201,457
August 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.