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Proceedings Paper

EFAB: low-cost automated electrochemical batch fabrication of arbitrary 3D microstructures
Author(s): Adam L. Cohen; Uri Frodis; Fan-Gang Tseng; Gang Zhang; Florian Mansfeld; Peter M. Will
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Paper Abstract

EFAB is a new micromachining process promising to rapidly and automatically batch fabricate high-aspect-ratio microstructures with arbitrary 3D geometry using inexpensive equipment. Conventional microfabrication processes have so far produced fairly simple geometries, yet many MEMS could benefit if more sophisticated shapes could be manufactured. By using 'Instant Masking' (IM) - a novel in-situ micropatterning method - to simplify, accelerate, and automate through-mask electroplating, EFAB can produce extremely complex shapes by depositing hundreds-thousands of layers at high speed. While other processes of the do not allow integration with ICs, EFAB operates at less than 60 degrees C, making IC compatibility a possibility. Alternative processes require costly facilities and equipment; EFAB separates photolithography from device fabrication, requiring a cleanroom only for mask-making, then depositing all layers in a low-cost, self-contained machine. All IM required can be prepared simultaneously, without repeating the lithography on each layer. Selective electrodeposition requires simply mating the mask with the substrate and applying current; in this way we have patterned well-defined features as small as 20 X 20 micrometers . The procedures in EFAB are selective electrodeposition, blanket electrodeposition, and planarization. To date we have built metal structures with up to 12 layers consisting of independently-moving components.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 August 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3874, Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology V, (30 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.361227
Show Author Affiliations
Adam L. Cohen, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Uri Frodis, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Fan-Gang Tseng, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Gang Zhang, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Florian Mansfeld, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Peter M. Will, Univ. of Southern California (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3874:
Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology V
James H. Smith; Jean Michel Karam, Editor(s)

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