This paper describes a simple method for the microfabrication of mechanically compliant, magnetically-responsive microstructures. These microstructures were fabricated in one step by using a ferromagnetic photoresist, which, in turn, was prepared by suspending nickel nanospheres in a negative photosensitive epoxy (SU8). The nominal diameter of the nickel nanospheres was 80-150 nm, that is, much smaller than the wavelength of the UV light (365 and 405 nm) used to expose the photoresist. Diffraction and scattering of light from the nanospheres allowed for full exposure of the photoresist, even after the incorporation of nanospheres at levels at which it became opaque. The ferromagnetic photoresist was cross-linked after exposure and development, and yielded a stable, compliant, ferromagnetic pattern. The paper characterizes the effect of the weight density of the nickel nanospheres on the transmittance of films made by this technique at wavelengths from 330 nm to 610 nm. It also describes a number of microstructures made with the photoresist: examples include lines, posts and meshes. As a demonstration, the procedure was applied to the microfabrication of a set of magnetically-actuated micromirrors. These micromirrors achieved large deflections: deflection at the tip of a 12 mm long, 250 μm wide and 70 μm thick cantilever of the ferromagnetic photoresist exceeded 1.4 mm, when actuated by a NbFeB permanent magnet with field strength ∼120 mT. The cantilever maintained its mechanical properties after cycling ∼106 times.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering