BMGMRS2007 - Micromolding three-dimensional amorphous metal...

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Micromolding three-dimensional amorphous metal structures Jeffrey A. Bardt Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 Gerald R. Bourne a) Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 Tony L. Schmitz and John C. Ziegert Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 W. Gregory Sawyer Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 (Received 31 May 2006; accepted 1 September 2006) In this article, we report a simple and inexpensive approach to micromolding of complex, three-dimensional, high aspect ratio structures (with non-line-of-sight features) out of a high-strength amorphous metal. Inexpensive sacrificial silicon molds were created using lithography and etching techniques originally developed for integrated circuit production by the microelectronics industry and later adopted for microelectromechanical (MEMS) manufacturing. Multiple silicon layers were stacked, and the metallic glass was forced into the cavities under heat and pressure in an open air environment. Following cooling, the metallic structures were released by etching the silicon away in a potassium hydroxide (KOH) bath. Process studies showed that temperature is the most significant variable governing mold-filling. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) sections of the mold/glass interface showed successful replication of features with characteristic dimensions on the order of 10 nanometers and no discernible gap between the silicon and the metallic glass. This scalable micromolding process leverages the inexpensive and readily available aspects of silicon lithography to economically support the mass customization (low volume production) of metal microcomponents without elaborate infrastructure needs. I. INTRODUCTION Over the past decades, electronics technology has shown a steady trend toward miniaturization of compo- nents and circuits that has, in turn, enabled a new class of electromechanical devices known generically as micro- electromechanical systems (MEMS). The application of MEMS technology to domains such as microscale sen- sors (chemical, fluidic, radiation, and acceleration) and power sources (batteries, photovoltaics, and energetics) has raised awareness of the potential advantages that could be realized if it were possible to miniaturize me- chanical devices and systems that do not possess nearly planar geometries. However, the ability to accomplish this miniaturization is restricted by the available manu- facturing technology and materials. Interest in producing components for micro- and
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BMGMRS2007 - Micromolding three-dimensional amorphous metal...

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