A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) includes at least two hinged flaps, each having a different amount of Permalloy or other magnetic material. The flaps are hinged at an angle to each other, and can be rotated off plane when placed in a magnetic field of sufficient strength. When placed in an increasing magnetic field, the flaps are raised asynchronously, at different times, due to the different amounts of Permalloy used in the flaps. As they are raised, the flaps interact with each other and become interlocked, even after the magnetic field is removed. In this manner, the devices can be assembled using a single magnetic field, without having actuators on the chip itself In another embodiment, at least one flap is provided with a spring beam which raises the magnetic field strength needed to raise the flap as compared to another flap. This also causes the flaps to operate asynchronously in an increasing magnetic field.
|Original language||English (US)|
|U.S. patent number||6166478|
|State||Published - Dec 26 2000|