Creating a patterned metal on a substrate can be done through various methods. Metal lift-off represents just one fabrication method that entails three steps: 1) patterning a photosensitive polymer film onto the target substrate, 2) metal deposition onto the patterns polymer film, and 3) removal of polymer with a solvent.
Photolithography is first utilized to transfer a design onto a substrate. This is done through a photoresist, which adheres to a substrate and is subjected to UV exposure. The UV exposure is adjusted to transfer a design by affecting a light sensitive photoresist.
Once a pattern is formed, a substrate can then be coated with a thin layer of metal. At Platypus Technologies, metals are deposited via Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). We offer a range of different metals that can be deposited such as Au, Ag, Al, Cu, Cr, Pt, Ni, Ti, and W. Metal thickness can also be customized from 1-nm to 500-nm. Once metal has been deposited onto a patterned substrate, metal lift-off can begin.
During metal lift-off a heated solvent is used to remove unwanted regions of a substrate in order to create distinct patterned features. Thus, the metal is lifted-off or removed from the area of the substrate where it is not needed, leaving behind the patterned metal traces.
Check out the video below for a more in-depth view!