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Tungsten (W) films have many applications in the semiconducting industry for sensor technology. Deposition conditions can significantly impact the resulting W films in terms of the phases present (α-BCC or β-A12), microstructural grain orientation (texture), and residual strain. Tilt-A-Whirl methodology has been employed for the evaluation of a W film showing both texture and residual strain. Sin2(ψ) analysis of the film was performed to quantify the strongly tensile in-plane strain (+0.476%) with an estimated in-plane tensile stress of ~1.9 GPa. The 3D dataset was also evaluated qualitatively via 3D visualization. Visualization of 3D texture/strain data poses challenges due to peak broadening resulting from defocusing of the beam at high ψ tilt angles. To address this issue, principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to diagnose, model, and remove the broadening component from the diffraction data. Evaluation of the raw data and subsequent corrected data (after removal of defocusing effects) has been performed through projection of the data into a virtual 3D environment (via CAD2VR software) to qualitatively detect the impact of residual strain on the observed pole figure.
The need for hollow microneedle arrays is important for both drug delivery and wearable sensor applications; however, their fabrication poses many challenges. Hollow metal microneedle arrays residing on a flexible metal foil substrate were created by combining additive manufacturing, micromolding, and electroplating approaches in a process we refer to as electromolding. A solid microneedle with inward facing ledge was fabricated with a two photon polymerization (2PP) system utilizing laser direct write (LDW) and then molded with polydimethylsiloxane. These molds were then coated with a seed layer of Ti/Au and subsequently electroplated with pulsed deposition to create hollow microneedles. An inward facing ledge provided a physical blocking platform to restrict deposition of the metal seed layer for creation of the microneedle bore. Various ledge sizes were tested and showed that the resulting seed layer void could be controlled via the ledge length. Mechanical properties of the PDMS mold was adjusted via the precursor ratio to create a more ductile mold that eliminated tip damage to the microneedles upon removal from the molds. Master structures were capable of being molded numerous times and molds were able to be reused. SEM/EDX analysis showed that trace amounts of the PDMS mold were transferred to the metal microneedle upon removal. The microneedle substrate showed a degree of flexibility that withstood over 100 cycles of bending from side to side without damaging. Microneedles were tested for their fracture strength and were capable of puncturing porcine skin and injecting a dye.
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