Simulation of a Diamond-Based Bistable Thermal Microswitch

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A novel bistable layout for a thermally driven microswitch based on polycrystalline diamond has been developed and evaluated by simulations. The device is based on a double-anchored, free standing diamond beam, which buckles due to intrinsic stress in the diamond layer, resulting in two stable states. Switching between these states is accomplished by proper placing of thermal actuators based on the bi-metal effect and local heating of the beam. Critical parts of the device layout are especially the beam geometry, placing of the actuators and the current supply for local heating. Since the parameter window for effective operation of the device is quite small, theoretical calculations are necessary to evaluate the proposed design and to determine the optimum values for the design variables. This has been done by analytical calculations as well as FEM simulations. Based on the optimised layout obtained by the simulations, devices have been realized and successfully operated.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2003 Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: February 23, 2003
Pages: 380 - 383
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications
ISBN: 0-9728422-0-9