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Three-dimensional microfabrication by localized electrochemical deposition

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J. Microelectromech. Syst. (USA), Volume 5, Number 1, p.24 - 32 (1996)



electrochemistry;electroplating;micromechanical devices;nickel;


A microfabrication technology capable of electrodepositing truly three-dimensional metal structures is introduced. Micrometer-scale nickel structures including a multicoiled helical spring have been fabricated. Electrodeposition is localized by placing a sharp-tipped electrode in a plating solution, near a substrate, and applying a voltage. Structures are built by moving the electrode appropriately with respect to the substrate. Vertical deposition rates of 6 μm/s are observed, two orders of magnitude greater than those of conventional electrodeposition. The theory of mass transport to a region of localized field is discussed, and a model of deposition profile is presented. The process can potentially produce submicrometer feature sizes using a range of materials including pure metals, alloys, and polymers


microfabrication;localized electrochemical deposition;three-dimensional metal structures;multicoiled helical spring;mass transport;plating;Ni;