This technology presents a microfabrication process to produce nickel thin film which contains fine through-hole features. This process is cost-effective as it uses technologies and materials which are commonly used in semiconductor industries. Nickel thin film has advantages over products made by other commonly used materials, such as silicon or polymers, in aspects of mechanical strength, durability and reproducibility of experimental results.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The fabrication process consists of three major steps.
- Firstly, photoresist structures are created on metal-coated substrate through optimised photolithography.
- Secondly, nickel was deposited on the substrate using electroplating techniques with the photoresist structures as mould to form the thin film with through-hole features which are less than 10µm in diameter.
- Lastly, the formed porous film is detached from the substrate through selective etching.
World demand for membranes is forecast to rise 8.5 percent annually to $26.3 billion in 2019, from which the metal membrane (thin film) constitutes a substantial portion of the total market demand.
The products made from this developed process can be used for purification, particle trapping, sensing and other purposes. It is the key component in devices of many different industries such as medical diagnosis, chemical engineering, environmental monitoring and food safety control.
- Enable production of high-quality membrane products at reduced costs
- Good mechanical strength providing better durability