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Proceedings Paper

Injection molding of LIGA and LIGA-similar microstructures using filled and unfilled thermoplastics
Author(s): Robert Ruprecht; Walter Bacher; Juergen H. Hausselt; Volker Piotter
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Paper Abstract

Micromolding is a key technology for the economic production of micro-components for microsystems. It is applied in several microstructuring techniques including the LIGA process which was invented and developed at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Injection molding of multiple-use LIGA tool inserts produced by deep-etch x-ray lithography and electroforming allows the economic production of components for most applications using microsystems technology. Such microstructures are produced in small and large series and commercialized by Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and the microParts Company, Dormund, Germany, cooperating within the framework of a license agreement. Special molding machines are applied for the production of single- or multi-stepped microstructures of a few micrometers in lateral dimension and structural details in the submicrometer range. Maximum aspect ratios of several ten up to 600 are achieved. In contrast to compact disc production, the machines are equipped with a special control unit, by means of which tool temperature is often kept above the melting temperatures of the plastics processed during injection. Evacuation of the tool cavity is required for the complete filling of the microstructurized nest area of the mold. Cycle time is mainly determined by the heating and cooling of the whole molding tool. Recently, novel techniques were developed for the production of ceramic LIGA or LIGA-similar microstructures at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, where further development of the LIGA technique has been performed for more than a decade. Using lost plastic microstructures and sometimes even metal tools, microstructures are made of structural (e.g., aluminum oxide, zirconium oxide) and functional ceramics (e.g., PZT). Current development activities are aimed at producing lost plastic molds for metal microstructures by injection molding. Molding tests with conductively filled thermoplastics have been carried out to manufacture lost molds for e.g. spin nozzles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2639, Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology, (19 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.221272
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Ruprecht, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH (Germany)
Walter Bacher, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH (Germany)
Juergen H. Hausselt, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH (Germany)
Volker Piotter, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2639:
Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology
Karen W. Markus, Editor(s)

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