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LIGA Micromachining - Lithography and Electroplating Kit
(Formerly LIGA Micromachining Simulation Kit)
This kit is supported by the MEMS Micromachining Overview Learning Module.
LIGA is an acronym for the German words LIthographie Galvanoformung Abformung (lithography, electroforming, molding). It is a microtechnology fabrication method that yields micro-sized components and devices with high aspect ratio (tall and narrow). In LIGA fabrication, x-rays generated by a synchroton are used to carve out deep patterns in a resist material. These patterns are then electroplated to form the desired structure or used as molds for MEMS components.
The kit includes four LIGA simulation activities in the LIGA Micromachining - Lithography & Electroplating Activities Learning Module. These activities allow participants to study LIGA processes and observe the lithography and electroplating process steps. Solar printing plates and a black-light bulb are included. The instructor supplies safety glasses, a table or desk lamp, and other easily obtainable items.
Replacement solar plates (refills) are also available.
Where can I use this kit?
Electroplating has been used in a variety of manufacturing process for well over 100 years. This kit allows not only the opportunity to learn about the chemistry of electroplating but how it applies to the making of extremely small, high aspect ratio micro devices and components.
For lithography, participants perform a photolithography process in order to expose the solar plates. In this process photons are used to expose photosensitive material which developed to remove the exposed material leaving the underlying conductive plate. In the LIGA process, the photons are produced by a synchrotron radiation source. These x-rays are produced by accellerating electrons to near light speed and using the emitted x-radiation to expose a sample through a mask made of gold and beryllium. In the classroom, UV or ultraviolet light is used to expose a "solar plate" through a mask made of a transparency with a student designed pattern. Once the plate is exposed and developed, the student deposits metal (copper) onto the plate in the exposed regions. Students make their own electrolyte solution and plating bath.
Make chemistry and physics real with this kit while opening the eyes of students to the cutting edge fabrication methods used in creating high aspect ratio micro devices!