1 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
At the 24-month milestone the ULTRAPLATE project has proven itself as both an excellent forum for exchange and development of ideas between experts as well as a source of new and commercially highly interesting process technologies. Several outcomes of the project are being pursued for further commercial exploitation and so far the publication list includes 2 PhD-dissertations, 1 scientific paper in Chemical Physics Letters (appendix I) and 1 patent application (appendix 2). More patent applications are expected to arise from the ULTRAPLATE work within the coming 6-month work period. Among the tasks concluded so far, R&D in basic ultrasonic technologies and the feasibility of using them constructively in electrodeposition (WP 1) has been successfully concluded. An iterative study on process-microstructure-property relations for electrodeposits (WP 2), revealed improved filling behaviour of Ni-electrodeposits in 3D-substrate structures with the use of high frequency ultrasound. The use of standing ultrasonic waves has been observed to have a strong influence on the composition of electrodeposited alloys. In the case of soft magnetic Ni-Fe alloys, which served as a model system, the composition of the electrodeposit could be changed up to 100 % (e.g. a doubling in Fe-content). These observations formed the basis for a patent application made on controlled alloy deposition. Low frequency ultrasound has proven itself a viable technique in electrodeposition of metals and alloys. Several very interesting observations have been made using this technique, which are presently undergoing review for further patent applications. A sulphamate based nickel electrolyte as used extensively in the micro-electroforming of high precision stamper tools for e.g. CD/DVD production and optical microconnectors has been used as a model system for the investigation of the effects of low frequency (25 kHz) ultrasound. Analysis techniques used so far in the iterative studies (WP2) include Laser-Doppler Anemometry measurements, X-ray fluorescence analysis, light optical microscopy (LOM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Three main areas of interest have been pointed out for further demonstration of the developed techniques (WP3): 1) High speed plated lead free solder alloys, 2) soft magnetic alloy plating for integrated microtransformers and 3) precision micro-electroforming for manufacture of e.g. CD/DVD-masters and stamper tools for polymer parallel optical links. The deliverable from each of these tasks is one or more demonstrators to be finished within the next 6 months of the ULTRAPLATE project.