An electromagnetic microrelay is proposed as a practical application of microelectrochemical system (MEMS) technology and the basic performance of its key components is evaluated. The contact resistance and breakdown voltage of contact electrodes are measured for very small loads and gaps. The static and dynamic deflection of the contact springs is measured for very small movements. Based on these experimental results, design guidelines for key components are proposed. Two prototypes that partly use MEMS technology are produced and their switching performance is demonstrated. One prototype uses a flat microspring with a length and width of 0.3 mm; its switching speed is more than ten times that of a conventional relay. The other is a 2×2 matrix relay, with four self-latching switches; each switch has two stable positions, open and closed, and is driven by a current pulse. This component study and prototype development verify the suitability of MEMS technology for mechanical relays.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering