Future of MEMS Technologies

Is Silicon Enough?

Silicon is a nearly perfect mechanical material and enables the micromachining of very precise structures. There are also some limitations related to the cost and the ultimate material properties. In microfluidics and optical applications, e.g., in diffractive optics, the use of polymer substrates and structures is much more inexpensive in large volumes. The sophisticated technologies for replicating the microstructures into polymer surfaces have been developed [88–91]. The basic idea of the process is to fabricate the primary mechanical structure into the surface of the silicon wafer, deposit a metal film on top of the silicon structure and electroplate a thick metal layer (for example, a nickel ...

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