Abstract:We have used double clamped beams to implement a mechanical memory. Compressive stress is generated by resistive heating of the beams and beyond the buckling limit the bistable regime is accessed. Bits are written by applying lateral electrostatic forces. The state of the beam is read out by measuring the capacitance between beam and electrodes. Two ways to implement a mechanical memory are discussed: compensation of initial beam imperfections and snap through of the postbuckled beam. Although significant relaxation effects are observed, both methods prove reliable over thousands of write cycles.