Replication and transfer of micro structures with a resolution down to 3 nm
In recent years, due to its ability to replicate a mandrel surface precisely atom-by-atom with practically no loss of fidelity, electroforming has taken on new importance in the fabrication of micro and nano scale metallic devices and in producing precision injection molds with micro and nano scale feature for production of nonmetalic micromolded objects.
In the basic electroforming process, an electrolytic bath is used to deposit nickel or other electroplatable metal onto a conductive patterned surface, such as glass or stainless steel. Once the plated material has been built up to the desired thickness, the electroformed part is stripped off the master substrate. This process allows high-quality duplication of the master and therefore permits quality production--at low unit costs with high repeatability and excellent process control.