There are various manufacturing methods for MOEMS devices, all of which involve the deposition of various layers of material and etching away the sacrificial layers to produce the desired structures. One process we use is the LIGA process, which is a German acronym for lithography, electroplating, and molding. Each layer of a different material is deposited lithographically and these layers are different thicknesses and may overlap one another. In this way one layer may be used as a sacrificial layer to fill in and support a void area. The next layer can be used to make a mold for a subsequent layer. The succeeding layer will overlap the first and be molded into shape by the second. Then the first two layers can be removed and you are left with a free standing structure - whatever it is. This procedure can be repeated over and over again to build up complicated parts. This is essentially 3-D integrated circuit processing. With MEMS technology already demonstrating sensors, actuators, and motors, only the optics are missing to create miniature versions of most electro-optic devices. Even small laser diode chips can be mounted as light sources.What are the benefits of using MOEMS
Everything on the component has the potential to be manufactured in a batch process and/or embossed for inexpensive replication. At the present time, even the most basic devices such as hinges are being conceptualized, developed, and tested in manufacturing to find what works effectively and repeatably. The process is much like laying out a cardboard cutout system and figuring out where to make the proper cuts so that when you stand everything up it is also well supported and won't fall over. Though, despite the apparent simplicity of the technology, more complex devices such as spectrometers, interferometers and miniature on-machine inspection systems are under investigation. A micro-optic laser beam scanner has already been demonstrated and plans are being completed to manufacture this part on an area less than roughly 500x500 microns.
MOEMS technology can bring your products into the next product wave of competitiveness and MEMS Optical, Inc. would like to help you get there. You can save time and money using us as the single design and fabrication interface, and using one interface also reduces your risk in fabrication. We can even interface with outside vendors for testing. Let us take a look at your system and see if it will meet the criteria for miniaturization. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
Just to give you an idea of the types of devices possible as MOEMS, the following is a partial list:
This is still a new and exciting field, so now is the time to begin learning about what it can do to help you miniaturize your products. Contact us and we will review your concept to see how we can help miniaturize your products.