Fabrication of a metal micro mold by using pulse micro electroforming

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Abstract

Microfluidic devices have been widely used for biomedical and biochemical applications. Due to its unique characteristics, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) show great potential in fabricating microfluidic devices. Hot embossing technology has established itself as a popular method of preparing polymer microfluidic devices in both academia and industry. However, the fabrication of the mold used in hot embossing is time-consuming in general and often impractical for economically efficient prototyping. This paper proposes a modified technology for preparing metal micro molds by using pulse micro electroforming directly on metallic substrate, which could save time and reduce costs. In this method, an additive was used to avoid surface defect on deposited nickel. A chemical etching process was performed on the metallic substrate before the electroforming process in order to improve the bonding strength between the deposited structure and substrate. Finally, with the aim of obtaining a metal micro mold with high surface quality (low surface roughness), an orthogonal experiment was designed and conducted to optimize the electroforming parameters. Additionally, metal micro molds with different structures were well prepared by using the optimized parameters.

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Chen, X., Liu, L., He, J., Zuo, F., & Guo, Z. (2018). Fabrication of a metal micro mold by using pulse micro electroforming. Micromachines, 9(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9050203

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