A new process chain for producing bulk metallic glass replication masters with micro- and nano-scale features
|Whiteside, Benjamin R.
|Vella PC, Dimov SS, Brousseau E and Whiteside BR (2015) A new process chain for producing bulk metallic glass replication masters with micro- and nano-scale features. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. 76(1): 523-543.
|A novel process chain for serial production of polymer-based devices incorporating both micro- and nano-scale features is proposed. The process chain is enabled by the use of Zr-based bulk metallic glasses (BMG) to achieve the necessary level of compatibility and complementarity between its component technologies. It integrates two different technologies, namely laser ablation and focused ion beam (FIB) milling for micro-structuring and sub-micron patterning, respectively, thus to fabricate inserts incorporating different length scale functional features. Two alternative laser sources, namely nano-second (NS) and pico-second (PS) lasers, were considered as potential candidates for the first step in this master-making process chain. The capabilities of the component technologies together with some issues associated with their integration were studied. To validate the replication performance of the produced masters, a Zr-based BMG insert was used to produce a small batch of micro-fluidic devices by micro-injection moulding. Furthermore, an experimental study was also carried out to determine whether it would be possible by NS laser ablation to structure the Zr-based BMG workpieces with a high surface integrity whilst retaining the BMG's non-crystalline morphology. Collectively, it was demonstrated that the proposed process chain could be a viable fabrication route for mass production of polymer devices incorporating different length scale features.
|Focused ion beam milling
|Bulk metallic glasses
|Function and length scale integration
|A new process chain for producing bulk metallic glass replication masters with micro- and nano-scale features