A novel die-sinking micro-electro discharge machining (EDM) process is presented for volume fabrication of metallic microcomponents. In the process, a high-precision silicon electrode is fabricated using deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology and then coated with a thin layer of copper to increase the conductivity. The metalized Si electrode is used in the EDM process to manufacture metallic microcomponents by imprinting the electrode onto a flat metallic surface. The two main advantages of this process are that it enables the fabrication of metallic microdevices and reduces manufacturing cost and time. The development of the new EDM process is described. A silicon component was produced using the Surface Technology Systems plasma etcher and the DRIE process. Such components can be manufactured with a precision in nanometres. The minimum feature of the component is 50 mu m. In the experiments, the Si component was coated with copper and then used as the electrode on an EDM machine of 1 mu m resolution. In the manufacturing process, 130 V and 0.2 A currents were used for a period of 5 min. The SEM images of the resulting device show clear etched areas, and the electric discharge wave chart indicates a good fabrication condition. The experimental results have been analysed and the new micro-EDM process is found to be able to fabricate 25 mu m. features.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Proceedings. Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|
- micro-electrode manufacturing
- micro-electro discharge machining
- microdie sinking
- deep reactive ion etching