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Application of electroplating in MEMS-micromachining exemplified by a microrelay

: Becker, M.; Notarp, D.L.; Vogel, J.; Kieselstein, E.; Sommer, J.P.; Brämer, K.; Grosser, V.; Benecke, W.; Michel, B.


Microsystem Technologies 7 (2001), Nr.4, S.196-202
ISSN: 0946-7076
Fraunhofer IZM ()

Electrodeposition processes were proposed for the fabrication of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) long time ago. Patterned layers of nickel, nickel alloys, gold alloys, silver and copper are used to realize micro switches, relays, valves, pumps, coils and gyroscopes. The metal layers have to meet the highest requirements on homogeneity, as well as on mechanical, electric or magnetic characteristics. The application of microelectroplating has to cope with specific effects influencing the electroplating conditions in the micrometer range. So, many efforts concentrate on the control and standardisation of microelectroplating processes. The suitability and application of electroplating methods will be exemplified by two concepts of a microrelay assigned for current loads of up to several amperes. The development of these microrelays is object of the project "MikroRel", partially funded by the German ministry for education and research (BMBF).