Thursday, October 11, 2007

US Patent 7279760 - Nanotube cantilever relay

The use of micromechanical switches is fairly common for a variety of applications in communications and optical devices. This patent from Chalmers Intellectual Property Rights teaches embodiments of nanotube cantilevers for such switching devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanotube device, comprising a nanotube having a longitudinal extension extending in a longitudinal direction of said nanotube and a lateral extension extending in a lateral direction transverse to the longitudinal direction, said nanotube including a first part extending in the longitudinal direction, a second part connected to said first part and extending in the longitudinal direction, said second part having a free end spaced a distance from said first part, the nanotube device further including a structure extending at least substantially in the longitudinal direction at least generally parallel to said first part of said nanotube to support said first part of said nanotube, and first means operable to exert a force upon said second part in a first direction defined by the lateral extension, characterized in that said second part of said nanotube protrudes in the longitudinal direction beyond said structure such that said free end is unsupported, and when the force exceeds a predetermined level, said second part of said nanotube is subject to flex in a the first direction to thereby close a first electrical circuit.