Patent Number: 7,710,371

Title: Variable volume between flexible structure and support surface

Abstract: Cells can include variable volumes defined between a flexible structure, such as a polymer layer, and a support surface, with the flexible structure and support surface being attached in a first region that surrounds a second region in which they are unattached. Various adhesion structures can attach the flexible structure and the support surface. When unstretched, the flexible structure can lie in a flat position on the support surface. In response to a stretching force away from the support surface, the flexible structure can move out of the flat position, providing the variable volume. Electrodes, such as on the flexible structure, on the support surface, and over the flexible structure, can have charge levels that couple with each other and with the variable volume. A support structure can include a device layer with signal circuitry that provides a signal path between an electrode and external circuitry. One or more ducts can provide fluid communication with each cell's variable volume. Arrays of such cells can be implemented for various applications, such as optical modulators, displays, printheads, and microphones.

Inventors: Mei; Ping (Palo Alto, CA), Daniel; Jurgen (Mountain View, CA), Boyce; James B. (Los Altos, CA), Boyce, legal representative; Kathleen Dore (Ashland, OR), Ho; Jackson (Palo Alto, CA), Lau; Rachel (San Jose, CA), Wang; Yu (Union City, CA)

Assignee: Xerox Corporation

International Classification: G09G 3/34 (20060101); B41J 2/14 (20060101); H04R 19/00 (20060101); C25B 9/00 (20060101); F04B 17/00 (20060101); G02F 1/153 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/04/12018