Laser moulding, a new low-cost fabrication process for micro- and nanostructured components
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Laser moulding is a new polymer moulding process developed and enhanced for the fabrication of micro- and nanostructured components at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. This report describes the potential offering by laser moulding. Besides known polymer moulding techniques like injection moulding or hot embossing, laser moulding can also achieve significant advantages compared to the existing technologies. Assisted by a high power diode laser radiation (wavelength 940 nm) a micro- or nanostructure of a mould will be transferred to a thermoplastic polymer product. With regard to the efficiency of production, micro- and nanostructures should be fast, competitive and flexibly transferred to a thermoplastic polymer surface. For this purpose the moulding by laser radiation provides ideal conditions, advantages and a variety of applications. These conditions, advantages and applications were tested by using different micro- or nanostructured mould inserts made of silicon, glass or nickel as well as different thermoplastic polymers which were used for replication such as, polymethylmethacrylate, polystyrene, cyclo-olefin copolymers and polyether ketones. The new technical approach and his first results will be described in this report.
KeywordsPMMA Scanning Step Mould Insert Moulding Process Glass Wafer
This work was supported by the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF, http://www.knmf.kit.edu/).
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