Tecan’s Micro-Photo Electro Forming (Micro-PEF) process offers many benefits over micro-milling, EDM and laser manufacturing of micro-scaled parts and tools. These include:
- Ultra high precision
Sub-micron feature sizes and tolerances are possible dependent on the application.
- High aspect ratios
The process enables very high aspect ratios (height to width) and vertical side walls.
- Sub-micron registration
A mask aligner/exposure unit is used to carry out critical alignment processes. Alignment accuracy to sub-micron levels is possible.
- 300mm x 300mm substrate sizes
Exceptional accuracy can be achieved over a total surface area of 300mm x 300mm.
- Burr free
Micro-PEF is an additive process where microstructures are grown, molecule-by-molecule by electro-deposition. Excellent process control enables the manufacture of smooth, burr free parts.
- Sharp edge definition
The use of optical quality substrates (mandrels) enables topography to be reproduced reliably by the electroforming process. High resolution photoresists are used to ensure highly accurate edge definition.
- Variations in properties
Electrolytes can be selected/modified to give control over magnetic, optical, electrical conductivity and thermal properties, as well as stress, ductility and hardness variations.
- Multi-level stepped profile
The number of levels is not limited and the critical dimensions of each can be precisely controlled.
- Volume production
Sometimes, a million micro-parts can be ‘grown’ on a single mandrel at the same time, providing distinct cost and lead-time advantages over alternative technologies, such as micro-laser, micro-milling, micro-machining or micro-EDM where parts often have to be manufactured one-by-one.