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Bridging the Manufacturing Gap between Macro and Micro Devices
Keywords: Miniature Fabrication, Multiple Materials, Complex Geometries
Materials scientist and entrepreneur, Arthur L. Chait will show why there is a manufacturing gap when building miniature devices, with complex geometries and multiple materials. He will describe how MEMs and related methods work well with a single material like silicon and how some techniques can handle two materials. Nanotechnology promises to revolutionize everything, including sustainable energy – but there are innovative designs for miniature devices larger than nano yet too small to be practical or cost effective for machining, assembly and automation. This lecture will provide a better understanding of the requirements of manufacturing small devices that generate, harvest and manage energy, such as portable fuel cells and energy harvesters. Mr. Chait will explain one solution, a forming method that allows metals, ceramics, polymers and void spaces to be designed into one part, with thousands of parts made at the same time. This print deposition technique relies on proprietary “inks” or pastes that decompose when heat treated to leave behind compatible dielectrics, conductors and open spaces. These three-dimensional parts can contain hundreds of layers with thicknesses that range from microns to millimeters. Some parts may require hundreds of layers to achieve the proper resolution, while other parts may require only 30 layers. Mr. Chait will reveal some of the major challenges that have to be resolved in order for this platform technology to be successful. The deposition “inks” or “pastes” must print precisely-defined shapes. They must hold high tolerances through hundreds of layers. They much cure quickly without shrinkage to accommodate layer buildup. They must bond to other materials where needed and not bond where required. They must allow binder removal with no residue or stress. They must yield high-density materials through heat treatment. In addition, they must achieve specific properties such as conductivity and dielectric constant.
Arthur L. Chait, CEO and President
EoPlex Technologies, Inc.
Redwod City, CA

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