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Thermoplastic Forming of Bulk Metallic Glass— A Technology for MEMS and Microstructure Fabrication

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3 Author(s)
Schroers, Jan ; Liquidmetal Technol., Lake Forest, CA ; Pham, Q. ; Desai, A.

A technology for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microstructure fabrication is introduced where the bulk metallic glass (BMG) is formed at a temperature where the BMG exist as a viscous liquid under an applied pressure into a mold. This thermoplastic forming is carried out under comparable forming pressure and temperatures that are used for plastics. The range of possible sizes in all three dimensions of this technology allows the replication of high strength features ranging from about 30 nm to centimeters with aspect ratios of 20 to 1, which are homogeneous and isotropic and free of stresses and porosity. Our processing method includes a hot-cutting technique that enables a clean planar separation of the parts from the BMG reservoir. It also allows to net-shape three-dimensional parts on the micron scale. The technology can be implemented into conventional MEMS fabrication processes. The properties of BMG as well as the thermoplastic formability enable new applications and performance improvements of existing MEMS devices and nanostructures

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 2 )