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Study of Hot Embossing Using Nickel and Ni–PTFE LIGA Mold Inserts

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6 Author(s)
Yuhua Guo ; Univ. of Sci. & Technol. of China, Hefei ; Gang Liu ; Ying Xiong ; Jun Wang
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Hot embossing is one of the main process techniques for polymer microfabrication, which helps X-ray lithography, electroplating, and molding (LIGA) to achieve low-cost mass production. Most problems in polymer micromolding are caused by demolding, especially for hot embossing of high-aspect-ratio microstructures. The demolding forces are related to the sidewall roughness of the mold insert, the interfacial adhesion, and the thermal shrinkage stress between the mold insert and the polymer. The incorporation of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) particles into a nickel matrix can have the properties such as antiadhesiveness, low friction, good wear, etc. To minimize the demolding forces and to obtain high-quality polymer replicas, a Ni-PTFE composite microelectroforming has been developed, and the hot embossing process using Ni and Ni-PTFE LIGA mold inserts has been well studied in this paper. The morphologies, sidewall roughness, and friction coefficient have been explored in the fabricated Ni-PTFE LIGA mold insert. Finally, the comparison of embossed microstructures with various aspect ratios and the comparison of the embossing lifetimes of mold inserts have been carried out between Ni and Ni-PTFE mold inserts, which show a better performance of the Ni-PTFE mold and its potential applications.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )