In this paper, a new hot embossing process, molding at the viscous state, for fabrication of complex polymer structures at the micro and millimeter scale is presented. Polymer deformability is enhanced due to its low viscosity and is increased by an inner pressure from confinement of the polymer flow. Various millimeter-scale polymer structures with high aspect ratios and complex features were hot embossed. In addition, typical microstructures were achieved. This new approach promises the advantages of a broad process capability and strong compatibility with conventional hot embossing processes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is sponsored by the DARPA MACE program, and partially carried out at the Nanofabrication Center at the University of Minnesota. We appreciate Mr. Dave Hultman’s discussions on the design of mold inserts. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the US Government. Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited.