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Fabrication of high-aspect-ratio microstructures on planar and nonplanar surfaces using a modified LIGA process

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5 Author(s)
Marques, C. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA, USA ; Desta, Y.M. ; Rogers, J. ; Murphy, Michael C.
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Large surface areas (tens of square centimeters to square meters) covered with high-aspect-ratio microstructures (HARMs) have potential applications in a wide range of fields including heat transfer, adaptive aerodynamics, acoustics, catalysts, seal and bearing design, and composite materials. HARMs are typically hundreds of micrometers in height, with widths ranging from a few micrometers to tens of micrometers, and they can be manufactured from a variety of materials such as metals, polymers, and ceramics. Three of the barriers to extensive use of large HARM-covered surfaces are cost, nonplanarity of typical surfaces, and adhesion of the microstructures to the surface. A starting point for inexpensive reproduction of large arrays of HARMs is the plastic molding step of the LIGA micromanufacturing process. In order to address the latter two problems, the standard LIGA process was modified/extended. Free-standing polymer sheets, perforated with a pattern of high-aspect-ratio throughholes, were clamped to conductive substrates. The sheets provide a template for electrodeposition of nickel microstructures onto the target surface. This process makes it economically feasible to electroform metal microstructures directly onto large planar and nonplanar metal surfaces (cylinders)

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )