Micro-fabrication techniques and especially micro-milling can be used to manufacture microsystem prototypes with a timescale of days, as close as possible to the application. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA - Commercial name Plexiglas) is a commonly used material for microsystems fabrication, limited however by its chemical incompatibility with acids and solvents.
The goal of this post-doctoral project is to study the feasibility of machining thermoplastic materials other than PMMA and to optimise the associated manufacturing parameters. The post-doctoral project will start with the selection of materials in line with the aimed applications (optical and physico-chemical properties). The materials will be selected among the thermoplastics family (PC, POM, PS, HDPE, PEEK, PVC, PP, PTFE, ULTEM, etc).
The optimisation of the micro-milling step will be realized by varying parameters such as the tool rotation speed, the feed rates, the depth of cut, etc. The surfaces and channels will be characterized by optical or mechanical profilometry, optical microscopy and/or scanning electron microscopy.