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Three-Terminal Latching Micromechanical Switch

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040535D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Greschner, J: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Single crystal silicon is being increasingly employed in a number of new products for its excellent mechanical [*], rather than its well established electronic, properties. Processing techniques, such as anisotropic etching, allow the high-precision fabrication of micromechanical structures used, for example, in pressure transducers, print heads or voltage- controlled current switches. This article describes a three-terminal latching micromechanical switch, as shown in the figure. The switch comprises a single-crystal silicon cantilever beam 1 carrying three electrodes of different functions: two electrodes 2 for electrostatic deflection of the beam and a contacting electrode 3, shaped as a bar in this case, which switches current circuit 4, using, for example, contact studs 5.

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Three-Terminal Latching Micromechanical Switch

Single crystal silicon is being increasingly employed in a number of new products for its excellent mechanical [*], rather than its well established electronic, properties. Processing techniques, such as anisotropic etching, allow the high-precision fabrication of micromechanical structures used, for example, in pressure transducers, print heads or voltage- controlled current switches. This article describes a three-terminal latching micromechanical switch, as shown in the figure. The switch comprises a single-crystal silicon cantilever beam 1 carrying three electrodes of different functions: two electrodes 2 for electrostatic deflection of the beam and a contacting electrode 3, shaped as a bar in this case, which switches current circuit 4, using, for example, contact studs 5. The deflection electrodes 2 are preferably symmetrically arranged on top of silicon beam 1 in order to prevent the beam from being distorted upon application of voltages V0 and V1 . The figure shows the two electrodes arranged in the form of meshing combs. The two deflection electrodes are supplied with different voltages, one with a substantially constant voltage V0 and the other with switching pulses - V1 . The voltages are suitably chosen such that a latching switch is obtained at V1 = 0. Voltage V0 must be below the switching threshold voltage but high enough to keep the beam deflected after voltage V0 + V1 has closed the contact. Voltage...