Sacrificial plastic mold with electroplatable base

Patent Number: 6,422,528
Issued: 7/23/2002
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A sacrificial plastic mold having an electroplatable backing is provided. One embodiment consists of the infusion of a softened or molten thermoplastic through a porous metal substrate (sheet, screen, mesh or foam) and into the features of a micro-scale molding tool contacting the porous metal substrate. Upon demolding, the porous metal substrate will be embedded within the thermoplastic and will project a plastic structure with features determined by the mold tool. This plastic structure, in turn, provides a sacrificial plastic mold mechanically bonded to the porous metal substrate which provides a conducting support suitable for electroplating either contiguous or non-contiguous metal replicates. After electroplating and lapping, the sacrificial plastic can be dissolved to leave the desired metal structure bonded to the porous metal substrate. Optionally, the electroplated structures may be debonded from the porous substrate by selective dissolution of the porous substrate or a coating thereon.
Filed: 1/17/2001
Application Number: 9/765,078
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.