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Complementary logic using piezoelectric MEMS switches


New technologies and approaches are needed to miniaturize logic circuits and reduce power consumption.


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed low-voltage complementary logic circuits using Aluminum Nitride piezoelectric MEMS switches. These switches have been used to create a low voltage (<1.5V) inverter with fast switching speeds (220 ns) which could represent an alternative to CMOS logic.

An applied electric field is used to control the piezoelectric action of a thin-film Aluminum Nitride resonator and toggle the switch open or closed. These switches have a demonstrated reliability of 10^7 cycles and a resistance of 500 Ohm, which makes them suitable for logic circuits. The polarity of the switch can be inverted by applying the electric field to different electrodes of the same switch, making complementary action (p-type and n-type) possible with the same device. This low power alternative to CMOS could offer important advantages for miniaturization and reduced power consumption.


  • Reduced size and energy requirements
  • Same switch can be used as a P-type and N-type transistor
  • Demonstrated reliability

Stage of Development: 


Intellectual Property: 

United States Patent 8,552,621

Reference Media: 

Sinha, N., Jones, T. S., Guo, Z., & Piazza, G. (2012). Body-biased complementary logic implemented using AIN piezoelectric MEMS switches. Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of, 21(2), 484-496. (Featured graphic referenced from this article.) 

Desired Partnerships: 

Patent Information:


Docket # W5374

For Information, Contact:

Joshua Jeanson Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania