TiNi Thin Film Actuated Microrelays and Microswitches

Period of Performance: 05/15/1998 - 08/15/1999


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tini Alloy Company
1619 Neptune Drive
San Leandro, CA 94577
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Microrelays and micrswitches are needed for space systems in order to reduce size and weight. Titanium-nickel thin film shape memory alloy microribbons are capable of rapid forceful actuation with lifetimes of millions of cycles, enabling development of ultra-light micromachined switches. The goal of this R&D program is to fabricate individual relays and arrays of microswitches, each switch being tens to hundreds of micrometers in size, capable of switching current of hundreds of milliamperes, with contact resistance of a fraction of an ohm.A novel bi-stable switching element will be implemented, combining devices developed at the Air Force Institute of Technology with thin film shape memory alloy actuators developed at TiNi Alloy Company. Mechanisms will be developed which take optimal advantage of the shape memory effect.