New design for surface micromachined bistable and multistable switches

Ian Grant Foulds, Maria T. Trinh, Sam Hu, Steven W. Liao, Robert W. Johnstone, M. Ash Parameswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Microsystems often require switches or mechanisms to provide two stable states. In answer to this need, we design a novel micro-mechanical bistable switch based on the locking mechanism commonly used in extension ladders. This switch was designed and fabricated through the multiuser MEMS processes (MUMPs). Actual performance of the switch was videotaped, analyzed, and compared with theory and simulation. This design was fully functional on the first design iteration, and can easily be extended to provide multiple stable states. We outline the design, simulation, and results from the testing of the microfabricated system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Microlithography, Microfabrication and Microsystems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Bistable
  • MEMS
  • Multi-stable
  • Optics
  • Relay
  • Surface micromachine
  • Switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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