miércoles, 23 de junio de 2010

MEMS Circuit Breakers

MEMS Circuit Breakers
Eric Yeatman, Andrew Holmes, Richard Syms
Martin Geear, Alan Finlay (Microsaic Systems Ltd.)

We have demonstrated electromechanical circuit breakers based on MEMS structures. The devices use laterally moving thermal actuators to set and trip low-resistance contacts. The actuators are fabricated from electroplated Ni, on Si substrates, with Au-Co contact layers. Trip currents of 300 mA are obtained, with contact resistances below 1 Ohm. Rapid tripping (below 50 ms) is achieved, even for modest over-current levels, and sensitivity to ambient temperature is much less than for positive temperature coefficient (PTC) devices typically used for over-current protection in electronics applications. These MEMS devices offer an ultra-miniature, potentially low cost solution for circuit protection applications at low currents, where a high degree of system control is desired.
Schematic of electrothermal latching MEMS circuit breaker

Latch region of a prototype circuit breaker
fabricated in electroplated metal on silicon.

Ever Teneppe
fuente: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/opticalandsemidev/microsystems/electrical/memscircuitbreakers

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