Additive micromanufacturing of 3-D copper architectures
The demand for small-scale metal 3D architecture continues to grow as the electronic devices gets smaller and is subjected to complex loading conditions. The conventional additive manufacturing guarantees a geometric freedom, but the size is limited to the millimeter scale and the overhanging parts cannot be made without introducing an inclination angle or support structures.
Through electrochemical microadditive manufacturing technology (ec μAM), we are now able fabricate metal-based complex 3D architectures (even with 90° overhangs) from micro-to-meso scale. In this method, electrochemical ink with metal ions is pushed through a hollow microchanneled AFM probe, which get reduced onto a conductive substrate layer (counter electrode). The voxel-by-voxel manner of metal deposition allows fabrication of overhanging parts without any inclination angle. Using this method, any electrodepositable metal can be printed into arbitrary-shaped small-scale architectures.
Specifically, in this project, 3D copper microarchitectures will be fabricated and mechanically tested under extreme strain rates. Structures to be tested range from simple micropillars to complex microlattices. We will investigate the suitability of such full-metal architectures towards energy absorption and mechanical band-gap engineering applications.