Monday, November 02, 2009

US Patent 7609432 - Nanowire cantilever

Cantilever structures are very common to microsensor and microactuator structures used in MEMS. This patent from HP includes some basic claims to using nanowires to form nanoelectromechanical cantilevers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanoelectromechanical (NEM) device comprising:

a support block extending vertically from a horizontal surface of a substrate, the support block having a vertical side;

a nanowire extending laterally from the vertical side of the support block, the nanowire being spaced from the horizontal surface of the substrate; and

a component that influences the nanowire.

Although not cited in this patent, a similar nanocantilever based on a carbon nanotube was earlier described in published patent application US2005/0230710.