A novel bistable microelectromechanical mechanism utilizing socket joints

Nima Jahedi*, Ian G. Foulds, M. Parameswaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper describes a novel bistable microelectromechanical mechanism implementation that utilizes socket joints. The energy storage characteristics of this mechanism offer two distinct stable states with power only required to shift from one state to the other. The mechanism described is a novel implementation of a toggle-type bistable microelectromechanical system (MEMS). Bistable mechanisms are a basic mechanical building block and find use in micro electrical and optical switches, as well as any mechanisms that require two stable positions and low power consumption. The design consists of several socket joints and springs, which create an energy barrier between stable states. When changing from one state to the other the springs reach a maximum compression at the toggle point, after which the stored energy in the springs is released bringing the mechanism into the second stable state. The design was fabricated using MUMPs technology. The devices were tested in our lab and they displayed the predicted functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1556964
Pages (from-to)433-436
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventCanadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering 2005 - Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Duration: May 1 2005May 4 2005


  • Bistable
  • MEMS
  • Toggle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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