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Proceedings Paper

Microgalvanic nickel pulse plating process for the production of thermal actuators
Author(s): W. Hansal; H. Steiner; R. Mann; M. Halmdienst; J. Schalko; F. Keplinger
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Paper Abstract

Nickel is often used in the micro fabrication because of its fatigue resistance and its mechanical properties. It is used for instance for thermal actuators, micro-grippers, or RF-switches. The defined electrodeposition of the nickel matrix is crucial for the properties and functionality of the thermal actuators. Micro galvanic processes are the basis of this electrodeposition, and require knowledge of the electrochemical fundamentals as well as numerical electrochemical process simulation for adjustment. Especially realization of high aspect ratios requires the use of sophisticated plating techniques such as pulse reverse deposition. The pulse plating process was adjusted by using the results of electrochemical numerical simulation routines, visualizing the (local) potential field and the current field line distribution as a function of the applied electrochemical parameters. Compact, completely void free structures could be obtained applying the developed pulse plating process to the structured wafers. The electrodeposited material has been nickel for stability and hardness reasons. MEMS structures were designed to convert the thermal expansion of the material into an in-plane defection. A custom made measurement setup, consisting of a sealable chamber, a Peltier element with a temperature control unit, and an optical microscope is used to measure these defections at different temperatures. Additional, finite element simulations are carried out to determine the thermal expansion coefficient of the plated Nickel.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8763, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI, 87632X (17 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2018001
Show Author Affiliations
W. Hansal, Happy Plating GmbH (Austria)
H. Steiner, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
R. Mann, Happy Plating GmbH (Austria)
M. Halmdienst, Happy Plating GmbH (Austria)
J. Schalko, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
F. Keplinger, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8763:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VI
Ulrich Schmid; José Luis Sánchez de Rojas Aldavero; Monika Leester-Schaedel, Editor(s)

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