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The premise of our study lies in the controlled use of the phenomenon of stiction to lock three-dimensional self-assembled polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) microstructures. The stiction refers to the permanent adhesion of the microstructures to adjacent surfaces. It can occur either during the final stage of the micromachining process, that is to say the releasing of the microstructural material, or after the packaging of the device, due to overrange input signals or electromechanical instability. As a result, we often regard stiction as a major failure issue in the microelectromechanical systems fabrication. This letter reports both the theory of our stiction-controlled locking system operation mode and the validation of our original concept through the stiction-locking of a three-dimensional self-assembled device. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.