TiNi Thin Film Actuated Microrelays and Microswitches
Small Business Information
1621 Neptune Dr., San Leandro, CA, 94577
A. David Johnson
AbstractMicrorelays and microswitches are needed for space systems in order to reduce size and weight. For this purpose we propose to use TiNi thin film shape memory alloy as the actuating mechanism for micromachined switches. TiNi Alloy Company has demonstrated that TiNi thin film is capable of forceful actuation with lifetimes of millions of cycles, and has produced a viable commercial microvalve product. TiNi shape memory thin film has thus proven itself as a practical method of microactuation.The goal of this researh is to fabricate individual switches a few tens of micrometers in size, capable of switching current of a few milliamperes, with contact resistance of a fraction of an ohm.A novel bi-stable element will be designed using finite element analysis. Microstructures will be fabricated at Micromachining Center of North Carolina. Shape memory film will be deposited and patterned, and devices will be tested for insertion losses and longevity at TiNi Alloy Company.
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