Thursday, June 14, 2007

US Patent 7230306 - Integrated cantilever/transistor for MEMS

IMEMS is an acronym often used referring to integrated microelectromechanical systems and refers to devices in which both micromechanical structures and the electronics used to control the micromechanical structures are formed on the same substrate. This is often easier said then done since very different process steps and materials may be involved in the fabricating of the control circuit versus the fabrication of the micromechanical component. This patent teaches one method of integration in which a transistor is formed within a microcantilever by using different crystalline structures. Claim 1 reads:

1. A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) thin-film device comprising: a mechanical device having a mechanical body made from a thin-film material; an electronic device formed within the mechanical body; wherein the mechanical device is a cantilever beam, including a thin-film material with a first crystalline structure; and, wherein the electrical device is a transistor, including a semiconductor material having a second crystalline structure.