Mechanically latchable tiltable platform for forming micromirrors and micromirror arrays

United States Patent

December 12, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A microelectromechanical (MEM) apparatus is disclosed which includes a platform that can be electrostatically tilted from being parallel to a substrate on which the platform to being tilted at an angle of 1 20 degrees with respect to the substrate. Once the platform has been tilted to a maximum angle of tilt, the platform can be locked in position using an electrostatically-operable latching mechanism which engages a tab protruding below the platform. The platform has a light-reflective upper surface which can be optionally coated to provide an enhanced reflectivity and form a micromirror. An array of such micromirrors can be formed on a common substrate for applications including optical switching (e.g. for fiber optic communications), optical information processing, image projection displays or non-volatile optical memories.
Garcia; Ernest J. (Albuquerque, NM), Polosky; Marc A. (Tijeras, NM), Sleefe; Gerard E. (Cedar Crest, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
November 27, 2002
310/309 ; 359/200.6; 359/225.1; 359/291; 385/18;
H02N 1/00 (20060101); G02B 26/08 (20060101);
310/309 385/16,18 359/223-226,290,291
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.