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Micro-miniature structures and method of fabrication thereof

Image Number 5 for United States Patent #5364742.

In the fabrication of a free-standing miniaturized structure in a range of about 10 to 20 .mu.m thick, a method based on a sacrificial system includes the steps of selecting a substrate material, depositing on the substrate material a sacrificial layer of material and patterning the sacrificial layer to define a shape. A photoresist layer of material is deposited on the sacrificial layer and patterned by contrast-enhanced photolithography to form a photoresist mold. Upon the mold there is plated a metallic layer of material. The electroplated structure conforms to the resist profile and can have a thickness many times that of conventional polysilicon microstructures. The photoresist mold and the sacrificial layer are thereafter dissolved using etchants to form a free standing metallic structure in a range of about 10 to 20 .mu.m thick, with vertical to lateral aspect ratios of 9:1 to 10:1 or more.

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