Patent Number: 6,251,842

Title: Vapor phase low molecular weight lubricants

Abstract: An improved micro machine has at least a first element which is moveable relative to a second element such that the first and second elements can be in contact with each other. The contacting portions of both the first and second elements are protected with a long-lasting lubricant to prevent the elements from sticking or adhering to each other. The lubricant is a polar low molecular weight compound preferably applied as a vapor. This class of low molecular weight lubricants consists of acetone, ethanol, ethylene glycol, glycerol, isopropanol, methanol, and water. According to the disclosure a lubricant has a low molecular weight if its molecular weight is less than .about.100 amu, or has a vapor pressure .gtoreq.5 Torr at room temperature. The preferred micro machine is a GLV wherein the bottom of the deformable ribbon contacts the landing electrode when the reflector is in a down position (close to the substrate). By applying any one of these low molecular weight lubricants in their gas phase to the contacting portions of the deformable ribbon and the landing electrode, these contacting portions will not weld, adhere, or stick together over a period of cycles. The lubricant is applied by bubbling an inert gas through a liquid reservoir of the lubricant and flowing the resultant vapor over the micro machine.

Inventors: Gudeman; Christopher Scott (Los Gatos, CA)

Assignee: Silicon Light Machines

International Classification: C10M 171/00 (20060101); C10M 129/04 (); G02B 005/18 ()

Expiration Date: 06/26/2018