Center for Materials Research

MEMS Liquid Metal Switch

These 100 micron size gallium doplets are used for a MEMS switch. They are built ontop of a silicon wafer that is processed in the cleanroom. When the temperature of the gallium is slightly elevated from room temperature, it becomes a liquid and can be used as a very reliable switch. It is better behaved than a mechanical switch which can induce large current spikes when turning on. Another advantage is that these gallium droplets virtually have an infinite life with no mechanical wear.

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