Advances in precision micro/nano-electroforming: A state of the art review

Micro/nano-electroforming as an advanced micro-manufacturing technique that offers high dimensional precision and replication accuracy has received considerable interest from various industry sectors. When tight feature tolerances and miniaturized geometries are required, electroforming provides unique advantages and cost-effective characteristics for fabrication. This paper firstly reviews the historical development of micro-electroforming, particularly within the past two decades. The fundamentals of electroforming and relevant applications are firstly discussed, and the common requirements are then proposed. Based on these requirements, we have focused on process of micro-electroforming from UV LIGA process to electroforming process characterization and optimization, bath compositions, agitation, and some hybrid processes. Progress from electrochemical micro/nano-manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing by electrodeposition, electrochemical wet stamping is also included. The nanocomposite electroforming eventually is highlighted from perspectives of formation mechanism, deposition properties and relevant applications. Finally, the conclusion and future perspectives are summarized. This review will demonstrate how the micro/nano electroforming process can be further developed to meet the requirement of new product development from precision optics, micro/nano mould, high performance coatings and future micro/nano manufacturing.

Source: IOP Science