Nanoelectromechanical contact switches

Owen Y. Loh, Horacio D. Espinosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

298 Scopus citations


Nanoelectromechanical (NEM) switches are similar to conventional semiconductor switches in that they can be used as relays, transistors, logic devices and sensors. However, the operating principles of NEM switches and semiconductor switches are fundamentally different. These differences give NEM switches an advantage over semiconductor switches in some applications - for example, NEM switches perform much better in extreme environments - but semiconductor switches benefit from a much superior manufacturing infrastructure. Here we review the potential of NEM-switch technologies to complement or selectively replace conventional complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology, and identify the challenges involved in the large-scale manufacture of a representative set of NEM-based devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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