(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (io) Pub. No.: US 2004/0118481 Al
Kubby et al. (43) Pub. Date: Jun. 24,2004
(54) BISTABLE MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEM BASED STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS AND METHODS
(75) Inventors: Joel A. Kubby, Rochester, NY (US);
Fuqian Yang, Lexington, KY (US);
Jun Ma, Penfield, NY (US); Kristine
A. German, Webster, NY (US); Peter
M. Gulvin, Webster, NY (US)
OLIFF & BERRIDGE, PLC
P.O. Box 19928
ALEXANDRIA, VA 22320 (US) (73) Assignee: Xerox Corporation.
(21) Appl. No.: 10/727,191
(22) Filed: Dec. 3, 2003
Related U.S. Application Data
(62) Division of application No. 10/063,762, filed on May 10, 2002.
(51) Int. CI.7 11011 1 03
(52) U.S. C I 148/101
A bistable microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based system comprises a micromachined beam having a first stable state, in which the beam is substantially stress-free and has a specified non-linear shape, and a second stable state. The curved shape may comprises a simple curve or a compound curve. In embodiments, the boundary conditions for the beam are fixed boundary conditions, bearing boundary conditions, spring boundary conditions, or a combination thereof. The system may further comprise an actuator arranged to move the beam between the first and second stable states and a movable element that is moved between a first position and a second position in accordance with the movement of the beam between the first and second stable states. The actuator may comprise one of a thermal actuator, an electrostatic actuator, a piezoelectric actuator and a magnetic actuator. The actuator may further comprise a thermal impact actuator or a zippering electrostatic actuator.