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Proceedings Paper

Ultraprecision microelectroforming of metals and metal alloys
Author(s): Holger Loewe; Wolfgang Ehrfeld; Joerg Diebel
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, microsystem technology and its growing importance for actuators, sensors, optics and microfluidics, only to name a few, have gained a lot of attention. Specific applications demand fabrication techniques allowing a fast and reliable replication of microstructure products in a variety of materials. An important technique for replication processes of microstructures in many applications of microsystem technology are microelectroforming processes, generating a variety of metals and metal alloys with tailored characteristics. Here, new results in the development of alloys for specific applications as well as their applications are reported: (1) Newly developed alloys: Nickel-iron alloys enable the production of soft magnetic microstructures e.g. for specific applications in microactuators. Nickel-cobalt and Nickel-tungsten alloys have been employed for the manufacture of microstructured tools with excellent mechanical properties regarding wear and mechanical durability. These tools have been applied to hot-embossing and injection molding processes successfully. (2) Microelectroforming within the frame of the LIGA technique allows the manufacturing of extremely precise electrodes with various cross-sections and heights for (mu) - electro discharge machining. The combination of these techniques enables the production of microstructures from non- electrodepositable materials, like stainless steel e.g. for large scale replication processes. (3) The precision of microelectroforming enables the replication of structured surfaces on a nanoscale for molecular microelectronics or special applications. The new types of alloys reported here significantly enlarge the applicability of microelectroforming processes for tool fabrication or direct use. Moreover combining this process with other microstructuring processes like injection molding or (mu) -EDM techniques generates a powerful tool for microsystem technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3223, Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology III, (5 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.284494
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Loewe, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
Wolfgang Ehrfeld, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
Joerg Diebel, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3223:
Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology III
Shih-Chia Chang; Stella W. Pang, Editor(s)

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