The starting point of the process chain is a master structure of the micro-optical component which is to be replicated in the form of a small single master. This can be manufactured by us or our partners on the basis of the optical design or can be provided by our customers.
Using a casting process, a molding tool is first formed from this single master, which is then used for shaping in the subsequent replication process. For this purpose, a polymer drop is dispensed onto the substrate and then the molding tool is brought into contact with it. After UV exposure to cure the polymer, the molding tool and the replicated structure are separated again. This process sequence is repeated until the entire wafer is patterned with the element to be replicated.
The manufactured wafer can be used as a master wafer in further replication steps, enabling parallel and low-cost replication of the devices in large quantities. Alternatively, Step & Repeat replication can be performed on both sides of lithographically patterned aperture wafers. This approach allows the direct production of micro-objectives for prototypes or small series without an additional replication step. The micro-optical components produced with both process variants are then separated by a dicing process before they are integrated into miniaturized sensor systems.