Sunday, February 04, 2007

US Patent 7170667 - Lifetime improvement in MEMS devices

Micromachined devices with movable members are often dependent upon resonant or other mechanical characteristics that can undesirably change over time due to deformation of the movable member. This patent from Texas Instruments teaches a method of reducing the rate of such deformation using an illumination pretreatment. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method comprising: packaging a microelectromechanical device (MEMS) having a deformable element; reducing a rate of developing residual plastic deformation in the deformable element by illuminating the device with a beam of illumination light, wherein the rate of developing residual plastic deformation is defined as an amount of the residual plastic deformation developed over a time period divided by the time period; and delivering the device to a customer.

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