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Electroforming is the unique, elegant process answer to many of the most vexing micro-fabrication problems.
Electroforming processes are capable of precisely replicating virtually any surface shape with astounding accuracy, precision, and reproducibility. In our expert hands electroforming is a unique fabrication, production, and development tool...
A truely 'nanometric' fabrication process technology
Electroforming is a true "bottom-up" nanometric fabrication technology. Carl Rodia coined the phrase, "atom-by-atom," 30+ years ago. The phrase refers to way electroforming process builds a structure adding material incrementally at the atomic level. Truely nanometric, additive fabrication processes like electroforming are rare. These processes build structures from the bottom-up. Other fabrication processes etch, erode or dissolve material creating a relief pattern or structure whose shape often depends on conrolling the flow of light or other forms of radiation through an exposure mask or screen. Alternatively, and in the right hands, electroforming can be controlled to direct the deposition of metal atoms to precisely build the desired micro and nano structures.
Surface features of Master mandrels and sub-mandrels can be replicated in metals such as nickel, gold, copper, iron, certain special alloys and silver to within a few (10 - 20) Angstroms accuracy. And dimensional tolerances of +/- 1 micron can be achieved in controlling electroformed cross-sectional thicknesses.
Precision Electroforming Consultation Services:
- Nickel sulfamate, sulfate copper, bright and matt gold, gold alloys, special nickel-cobalt, nickel-chromium and nickel-tin alloys
- Precision Master and mandrel preparation (litho resist, SU-8, mask to glass and silicon etch, e-beam, LIGA)
- Strict adherence to submicronic tolerances
- Expert engineering assistance for electroformed product design
- Product development services using electroforming and semiconductor fabrication processes
- MEMS, lenses, optical media, micro-mesh, adaptive optics, holographic embossing plates, molds
- High aspect ratio (deep recesses) electroforming
Some of Our clients:
American Banknote Holographics
Hoechst Celanese Corp.
Johnson & Johnson
"The company has provided expert services to technology-based companies
worldwide for more than 35 years."
"Carl Rodia & Associates are the quintessential experts in precision micro and nano
electroforming processing technology."
What is Precision electroforming?
(Please refer to MAIN MENU for an informative Metal Finishing Guidebook article on electroforming by Founder, Carl M. Rodia)
Electroforming is the process whereby a metal object is built-up, atom by atom, onto a contoured surface called a mandrel.
Precision electroforming is a process by which nickel or another desired metal is deposited onto a contoured mandrel to a precise tolerance and thickness in order to manufacture objects with a unique shape or surface detail. Often the contoured original or mandrel is a 'one-of-a-kind' object that has been specifically created for its use as the original. Some examples are CD and DVD masters, embossing plates, micro-mesh and special lens molds. Often the surfaces and contours of electroforming mandrels are made to tolerances exceeding ± 0.05 micron. Electroforming can faithfully reproduce these tolerances accurately to 10 - 20 Angstroms measured from Master to replicate.
Some applications for precision electroformed components:
- Compact disc injection mold inserts (Stampers)
- Precision masks
- Holographic embossing shims
- Microfluidic chip molds
- Micro-scale medical device components
- DVD molding inserts (Stampers)
- Phonograph record molds (Stampers)
- MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) components including LIGA
- MBMS (Micro BioMedical Systems) components
- Rotogravure printing plates
- Wave guides
- Lens molds and adaptive optics components
- Injection molds and micro injection molds
- Compression molds
- Tooling applications involving precise, intricate surface contours and detail
Micrographs of micro-structures we've fabricated
(Click any image for a larger view)