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Micro gears

Micro gears and micro mechanical structures have been produced by LIGA and UV-LIGA technology since the early 1990s. The tall heights made by X-ray LIGA at very small lateral dimensions allow the transmitted torque values to stay reasonably high. The very small runout over the whole pattern height allows our customers to make transmission trains with virtually no backlash. One drawback: The base for mechanical applications is limited to a very few materials, including Ni, NiP, NiFe and NiCo.

 

Array of nickel micro gears for the injection molding of polymer parts. Structure height: 2000µm; tooth width: 35µm.
Micro gears mounted to form a harmonic drive gear train. Structure height: 1100µm; width of teeth: 30µm. (X-ray lithography by Microworks; image courtesy of micromotion GmbH, Mainz.)
SEM image of a micro gear shows LIGA-technology’s high precision over tall pattern heights, an indispensable feature for gear trains free of backlash.