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Fabrication of a freestanding micro mechanical structure using electroplated thick metal with a HAR SU-8 mold

Research paper by Jin Seung Lee, Seung S. Lee

Indexed on: 21 Oct '08Published on: 21 Oct '08Published in: Microsystem Technologies



Abstract

In this thesis, fabrication technology of a freestanding micro mechanical structure using electroplated thick metal with a high-aspect-ratio SU-8 mold was studied. A cost-effective fabrication process using electroplating with the SU-8 mold was developed without expensive equipment and materials such as deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) or a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer. The process factors and methods for the removal of SU-8 were studied as a key technique of the thick metal micro mechanical structure. A novel method that removes cross-linked SU-8 completely without leaving remnants of the resist or altering the electroplated microstructure was utilized. The experimental data pertaining to the relationship between the geometric features and the parameters of the removal process are summarized. Based on the established SU-8 removal process, an electroplated nickel comb structure with high-aspect-ratio SU-8 mold was fabricated in a cost-effective manner. In addition, a freestanding micro mechanical structure without a sacrificial layer was successfully realized. The in-plane free movements of the released freestanding structure are demonstrated by electromagnetic actuation. This research implies that various types of MEMS devices can be developed at a low-cost with design flexibility.