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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Aug 14;5(15):7465-9. doi: 10.1021/am401777u. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Reversible and continuous latching using a carbon internanotube interface.

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School of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea.


Mechanical multistability is greatly beneficial in microelectromechanical systems because it offers multiple stable positioning of movable microstructures without a continuous energy supply. Although mechanical latching components based on multistability have been widely used in microsystems, their latching positions are inherently discrete and the number of stable positions is quite limited because of the lithographical minimum feature size limit of microstructures. We report a novel use of aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays as latching elements in a movable micromechanical device. This CNT-array-based latching mechanism allows stable latching at multiple latching positions, together with reversible and bidirectional latching capabilities. The latching element with integrated CNTs on the sidewalls of microstructures can be adopted for diverse microelectromechanical systems that need precise positioning of movable structures without the necessity of continuous power consumption.

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