Fabrication of a micrometer Ni-Cu alloy column coupled with a Cu micro-column for thermal measurement

J. C. Lin, T. K. Chang, J. H. Yang, J. H. Jeng, D. L. Lee, S. B. Jiang

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Micrometer Ni-Cu alloy columns have been fabricated by the micro-anode-guided electroplating (MAGE) process in the citrate bath. The surface morphology and chemical composition of the micro-columns were determined by copper concentration in the bath and by the electrical bias of MAGE. When fabricated in a bath of dilute copper (i.e. 4 mM) at lower voltages (e.g. 3.8 and 4.0 V), the alloy micro-columns revealed uniform diameter and smooth appearance. The alloy composition demonstrated an increase in the wt% ratio of Ni/Cu from 75/25, 80/20, 83/17 to 87/13 with increasing electrical bias from 3.8, 4.0, 4.2 to 4.4 V. However, it decreases from 75/25, 57/43 to 47/53 with increasing copper concentration from 4, 8 to 12 mM in the bath. Citrate plays a role in forming complexes with nickel and copper at similar reduction potentials, thus reducing simultaneously to Ni-Cu alloy. The mechanism for fabricating alloy micro-columns could be delineated on the basis of cathodic polarization of the complexes. A couple of micro-columns were fabricated using MAGE in constructing a pure copper micro-column on the top of a Ni/Cu (at 47/53) alloy micro-column. This micro-thermocouple provides a satisfactory measurement with good sensitivity and precision.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015030
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


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