In the formation of multilevel LIGA microstructures, a preformed sheet of photoresist material, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is patterned by exposure through a mask to radiation, such as X-rays, and developed using a developer to remove the exposed photoresist material. A first microstructure is then formed by electroplating metal into the areas from which the photoresist has been removed. Additional levels of microstructure are added to the initial microstructure by covering the first microstructure with a conductive polymer, machining the conductive polymer layer to reveal the surface of the first microstructure, sealing the conductive polymer and surface of the first microstructure with a metal layer, and then forming the second level of structure on top of the first level structure. In such a manner, multiple layers of microstructure can be built up to allow complex cantilevered microstructures to be formed.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and Sandia Corporation for the operation of Sandia National Laboratories.