A surface micromachined bistable switch

I. Foulds*, M. Trinh, S. Hu, S. Liao, R. Johnstone, M. Parameswaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Often microsystems require switches or mechanisms that can give two stable states. Currently, many micromechanical systems use a monostable switch to produce the two states: first stable state when no power is applied and a second state that requires constant power to maintain the stability. Such a configuration is not efficient and consumes considerable electrical power during the 'on' state of the switch. A more efficient design would be a device that consumes energy only during the switching operation and does not consume any power while holding the stable states. Our novel micromechanical bistable switch design is based on the locking mechanism of an extension ladder. This switch was designed and fabricated through Multi-User MEMS Processes (MUMPs). Our paper will outline the design, simulation, animation and results from the testing of the micro-fabricated system. Actual performance of the switch was videographically analyzed and compared with theory and simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-469
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bistable
  • MEMS
  • Optics
  • Surface micromachine
  • Switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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