Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) consist of micro mechanisms integrated with electrical components. MEMS are often fabricated using a layered manufacturing approach with polysilicon. Because of certain challenges and constraints inherent in the manufacturing methods for MEMS, compliant mechanism technology is beneficial in designing these micro devices. This paper examines the interaction of compliant mechanisms (CMs) and MEMS in three areas: (1) the characteristics of CMs that make them attractive to use in MEMS, (2) the challenges presented to the use of CMs due to the manufacturing processes inherent in MEMS, and (3) performance-related design challenges with CMs and MEMS. These are critical areas of design when considering manufacturability in MEMS.

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