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15 May 2008 Replication of micro-optical components and nano-structures for mass production
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Microstructured metallic moulding tools or mould inserts are needed for mass production of micro-optical components. These tools are used for hot embossing or injection moulding of micro components in plastic. Because of the extremely tight specifications like small sidewall roughness and high aspect ratios these tools are usually fabricated by lithographic procedures followed by electroforming. In this case the structural geometry is limited to Manhattan-like structures and only a limited number of technologies can be used to fabricate the master structures. Applicable techniques are e.g. X-ray lithography (LIGA technology) or Deep Proton Writing (DPW). However these processes are not suitable for low-cost mass production. They are limited by the exposure area and the design of the microstructures. To overcome these limitations a new process has been developed which allows the transfer of micro-optical structures fabricated by other technologies as well as assembled structures or structures with varying geometries into a moulding tool. The master structures, either plastic, glass, metal or a combination of these materials, serve as sacrificial parts. With electroforming technology, a negative copy of the microstructured master is built up in the metal subsequently used as a moulding tool. Low-cost mass production is possible with these moulding tools. We present the process chain in this paper and demonstrate its feasibility by producing reliable moulding tools from three challenging and different components. The possibility of mass fabrication of the components by replication was demonstrated.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. Wissmann, M. Guttmann, J. Mohr, M. Hartmann, S. Wilson, C.-J. Moran-Iglesias, J. Van Erps, R. Krajewski, O. Parriaux, and S. Tonchev "Replication of micro-optical components and nano-structures for mass production", Proc. SPIE 6992, Micro-Optics 2008, 699208 (15 May 2008);

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