Patent Number: 6,310,339

Title: Optically controlled MEM switches

Abstract: An optically controlled micro-electromechanical (MEM) switch is describedwhich desirably utilizes photoconductive properties of a semiconductivesubstrate upon which MEM switches are fabricated. In one embodiment thebias voltage provided for actuation of the switch is altered byilluminating an optoelectric portion of the switch to deactivate theswitch. In an alternative embodiment, a photovoltaic device providesvoltage to actuate the switch without any bias lines at all. Due to thehysteresis of the electromechanical switching as a function of appliedvoltage, only modest variation of voltage applied to the switch isnecessary to cause the switch to open or close sharply under opticalcontrol.

Inventors: Hsu; Tsung-Yuan (Westlake Village, CA), Loo; Robert Y. (Agoura Hills, CA), Tangonan; Greg (Oxnard, CA), Lam; Juan F. (Manhattan Beach, CA)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 10/32013