Partnering opportunity

Production of porous nickel thin film using microfabrication process

Summary

A Singapore research institute has developed a microfabrication process that can be used to produce a thin film of nickel which is characterised by fine through-hole features. The developed process helps in the manufacture of metal membranes that can be used for various filtration and separation processes. The research institute is seeking partners, including all sizes of SMEs and MNEs through licensing agreements.

Partner sought

The Singapore research institute seeks to partner SMEs of all sizes and MNEs through a license agreement where the partner can license the process for the manufacture of thin porous nickel films.

Description

The microfabrication process developed by the Singapore research institute for the manufacture of thin nickel films comprises three steps: i) Photoresist structures are first created on metal-coated substrates using optimised photolithography. ii) Nickel is then deposited on the substrate using electroplating, in which the photoresist structures are used as moulds to help form a thin film that is less than 10 micrometers in diameter. iii) Finally, the developed porous film is detached from the substrate using a selective etching process. The microfabrication process can be used to manufacture products that can find potential use in purification, particle trapping, sensing, and many more. It can find application as a key component in devices used for medical diagnosis, chemical engineering, environmental monitoring, and food safety control. The research institute is keen to partner MNEs and SMEs of all sizes to license the developed process in the production of thin porous nickel film by the partner.

Advantages and innovations

The microfabrication process is cost effective as it utilizes technologies and materials commonly used by the semiconductor industry, thereby eliminating the need for possible changes in existing production lines. Nickel thin film, which is used for the process, is advantageous compared to materials, such as silicon and polymers in terms of higher mechanical strength, durability, and reproducibility of experimental results. The process also helps in the manufacture of cost-effective membranes for various filtration and separation purposes. The metal membrane market has a significant share in the global membrane demand, which is forecasted to rise at 8.5% annually to reach $26.3 billion by 2019. The microfabrication process will help in the development of highly durable membranes that can boost market growth.

Development stage

Available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Secret Know-how


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