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Title: Bistable microelectromechanical actuator

Abstract

A bistable microelectromechanical (MEM) actuator is formed on a substrate and includes a stressed membrane of generally rectangular shape that upon release assumes a curvilinear cross-sectional shape due to attachment at a midpoint to a resilient member and at opposing edges to a pair of elongate supports. The stressed membrane can be electrostatically switched between a pair of mechanical states having mirror-image symmetry, with the MEM actuator remaining in a quiescent state after a programming voltage is removed. The bistable MEM actuator according to various embodiments of the present invention can be used to form a nonvolatile memory element, an optical modulator (with a pair of mirrors supported above the membrane and moving in synchronism as the membrane is switched), a switchable mirror (with a single mirror supported above the membrane at the midpoint thereof) and a latching relay (with a pair of contacts that open and close as the membrane is switched). Arrays of bistable MEM actuators can be formed for applications including nonvolatile memories, optical displays and optical computing. 49 figs.

Inventors:
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia Corporation
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
321278
Patent Number(s):
5,867,302
Application Number:
PAN: 8-908,639
Assignee:
Sandia Corp., Albuquerque, NM (United States) SNL; SCA: 426000; PA: EDB-99:031245; SN: 99002064401
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 2 Feb 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING NOT INCLUDED IN OTHER CATEGORIES; ACTUATORS; CONTROL EQUIPMENT; SERVOMECHANISMS; MEMORY DEVICES; OPTICAL EQUIPMENT; MIRRORS; RELAYS

Citation Formats

Fleming, J.G. Bistable microelectromechanical actuator. United States: N. p., 1999. Web.
Fleming, J.G. Bistable microelectromechanical actuator. United States.
Fleming, J.G. Tue . "Bistable microelectromechanical actuator". United States.
@article{osti_321278,
title = {Bistable microelectromechanical actuator},
author = {Fleming, J.G.},
abstractNote = {A bistable microelectromechanical (MEM) actuator is formed on a substrate and includes a stressed membrane of generally rectangular shape that upon release assumes a curvilinear cross-sectional shape due to attachment at a midpoint to a resilient member and at opposing edges to a pair of elongate supports. The stressed membrane can be electrostatically switched between a pair of mechanical states having mirror-image symmetry, with the MEM actuator remaining in a quiescent state after a programming voltage is removed. The bistable MEM actuator according to various embodiments of the present invention can be used to form a nonvolatile memory element, an optical modulator (with a pair of mirrors supported above the membrane and moving in synchronism as the membrane is switched), a switchable mirror (with a single mirror supported above the membrane at the midpoint thereof) and a latching relay (with a pair of contacts that open and close as the membrane is switched). Arrays of bistable MEM actuators can be formed for applications including nonvolatile memories, optical displays and optical computing. 49 figs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {2}
}