Development of stacked conductive templates for electroforming of multi-level metallic micro components
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Economic mass manufacturing of metallic micro components requires effective methods to produce the adequate partial conductive templates. Especially in case of stacked or multi-level micro components a considerable increase in economic efficiency could be achieved if originally made templates, e.g. by LIGA, would be replaced by much cheaper replicated ones. For this purpose a modified injection molding process to produce stacked and partially conductive polymeric templates had been developed. As suitable demonstrator a combination of a gear wheel with an adequate shaft was chosen. Electroforming trials using a standard nickel sulfamate electrolyte were carried out. Finally, the stepwise electroplating procedure filling the shaft cavity first subsequently the gear wheel cavity could be realized. The lateral dimensions were measured and the surfaces of the metal components were characterized by SEM.
This work was partly carried out with the support of the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF, www.knmf.kit.edu), the Helmholtz Research Infrastructure at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, www.kit.edu). Additionally, the authors would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for financial support under the reference number PI 363/6-1. Further acknowledgements are due to all helpful colleagues at KIT, especially Mr Heinz Walter for professional machine operation, and external partners.
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