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Micromachines

Multiple Gear Speed Reduction Unit

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

Microelectromechanical systems or MEMS are micro versions of electrical gears, motors, switches, etc. that are used to significantly reduce the size of many of today's and future devices from all kinds of industries. Common uses include defense/munitions applications, computer hard drives, optics, and many others. The image above shows the top view of gear reduction unit.

Alignment Clip

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

This alignment clip is used in conjunction with a transmission (please note that there are 2 layers of gears). This complex device is entirely batch-fabricated, with no assembly required. Simply amazing!

Micromachined Dynamometer

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

This micromachined dynamometer is used to determine the coefficient of friction by measuring the normal and tangential forces.

Dynamometer Beam

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

The beam shown exerts a normal force on the smooth “gear” of the microengine.

An Incredible Close-up of the Indexing Gear

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

In this view we can see the index gear is slightly inserted into the well.

Linear Rack Close-up

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

Close-up of linear rack, rack guides, drive gear, and drive linkage.

Rack Height

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

This view was captured at an angle to show the relative height of the device over the plane of the wafer.

Close-up of Drive Gear Hub

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

A pin joint connects the drive arm to a rotating gear.

Grain of Pollen and Red Blood Cells

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

Drive gear chain and linkages, with a grain of pollen (top right) and coagulated red blood cells (lower right, top left) to demonstrate scale.

Hinged Polysilicon Mirror and Drive Motors

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

Polysilicon layers fabricated to "fold" on hinges as motors drive linear racks, thereby tilting the flat mirror structure out of plane.

Bug on Device

(Image credit: Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories, SUMMiTTM Technologies, www.mems.sandia.gov)

The image above shows a Spider mite with legs on a mirror drive assembly.