Background: University researchers have developed a miniature relay switch with an overall volume of less than 100 mm3 that can handle up to 40 W of DC or 60 Hz line power. This invention also relates to methods of manufacturing these relay devices directly within or on any of the following using standard electronic manufacturing techniques: lead frames substrates microelectronic packages printed circuit boards flex circuits and rigid-flex materials. Technology Description: This invention uses printed circuit board and laminates to build MEMS relay devices which is ideally suitable to the needs of high power applications since it allows the creation of rugged highly conductive contacts and allows relatively easy integration of alternative technologies such as magnetic components for electro-magnetic actuation. These small-sized devices employ an electromagnetic actuation component that directs electric current through another contact in the “on” state or provides an open circuit in the “off” state. Applications: This invention has utility in the area of industrial controls automotive appliances power systems (e.g. solar cells) and lighting (especially solid state lighting).
The device requires low voltage to actuate and require zero power to maintain either the “on” or “off” state (latching).