Tensile-stressed microelectromechanical apparatus and microelectromechanical relay formed therefrom

Patent Number: 7,339,454
Issued: 3/4/2008
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: 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.
Filed: 4/11/2005
Application Number: 11/103,311
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.