Microfabrication

Deep proton writing with 12 MeV protons for rapid prototyping of microstructures in polymethylmethacrylate

[+] Author Affiliations
Evert Ebraert, Berkcan Gökçe, Michael Vervaeke, Jürgen Van Erps

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels Photonics Team, Department of Applied Physics and Photonics, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Sandra Van Vlierberghe, Hugo Thienpont

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels Photonics Team, Department of Applied Physics and Photonics, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Ghent University (UGent), Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group (PBM), Krijgslaan 281 S4 Bis, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Pascal Meyer, Markus Guttmann

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Microstructure Technology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Peter Dubruel

Ghent University (UGent), Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group (PBM), Krijgslaan 281 S4 Bis, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 15(4), 044501 (Oct 17, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JMM.15.4.044501
History: Received August 22, 2016; Accepted September 20, 2016
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Abstract.  Deep proton writing (DPW) is a fabrication technology developed for the rapid prototyping of polymer microstructures. We use polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) substrates, which act as a positive resist, for irradiation with a collimated 12-MeV energy proton beam. Using 12 MeV enables the irradiation of increasingly thick PMMA substrates with less conicity of the sidewalls compared to the lower energies used in previous work. A microhole of 47.7  μm diameter over a depth of 1 mm is achieved, leading to a maximum aspect ratio of 211. The sidewalls of the irradiated structures show a slightly conical shape and their root-mean-square surface roughness is lower than 50 nm averaged over 72 measured areas of 56  μm×44  μm. This means that DPW components have optical surface quality sidewalls for wavelengths larger than 400 nm. Based on the trade-off among the sidewall roughness, conicity, and the development time, we determine that the optimal proton fluence for 12-MeV DPW in PMMA is 7.75×106  μm2. Finally, we discuss some high aspect ratio microstructures with optical surface quality that were created with DPW to be used for a myriad of applications, such as micromirrors, microlenses, optofluidic devices, and high-precision alignment structures for single-mode optical fiber connectors.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Evert Ebraert ; Berkcan Gökçe ; Sandra Van Vlierberghe ; Michael Vervaeke ; Pascal Meyer, et al.
"Deep proton writing with 12 MeV protons for rapid prototyping of microstructures in polymethylmethacrylate", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 15(4), 044501 (Oct 17, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.15.4.044501


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