The aim of this project is to develop a novel rapid prototyping and production route for MEMS components. LAMAR will develop laser induced chemical etching and micro-moulding techniques that will be used to produce microstructures with high, and well defined aspect ratios in a wide range of material systems including polymers, metals and glasses. Two rapid prototyping routes will be explored: gas phase laser induced chemical etching and liquid phase laser induced chemical etching. In addition, novel micro-replication techniques will be developed in order to produce large quantities of component in a cost effective process from the laser produced masters. The laser prototyping system will be optimised for the purpose of replication in order to address the problems of surface roughness and wall angle which nave significant impact in the de-moulding process.The industrial end-user materials of interest include metals (e.g. Ti Ni:Ti alloy), glasses and polymers. The project will implement the novel laser assisted processes on CAD/CAM compatible workstations for industrial use. The full rapid prototyping technology will be demonstrated by the fabrication of several demonstrator structures (micro-optics, electro-magnetic components, micro-grippers). The specific objectives of LAMAR are: - To develop industrial micro-machining processes to produce micron scale components with controlled wall angle (S to 10 degrees) - To develop laser assisted chemical etching processes that are applicable to a wide range of materials (e.g. metals, glasses, semiconductors, polymers) - To develop rapid laser assisted chemical etching techniques that give good surface finish (Ra < 1nm) - To develop a micro-replication technique for novel high aspect ratio (>50:1) structures - To improve laser assisted chemical etching techniques to give cutting rates of > 1mms-1 - To fabricate diffractive optic element, RF inductor and micro-gripper demonstrator micro-components.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
OX5 1QU Oxford, Kidlington