This work presents a heat-generable mold insert for micro injection molding that solves the problem of de-molding destruction. This mold insert is constructed from silicon wafer by silicon micro-fabrication. Micro electrical heating lines were formed in the wall of the micro mold cavity to control the temperature distribution and the sequence of local solidification of the filled plastic during injection molding. This design reduces the shrinking stress of the plastic filled in the mold. The micro electrical heating lines embedded in the cavity wall are silicon-based with specified resistance, and were fabricated by doping phosphorus ions precisely into the surface of the silicon cavity wall. Ion-implantation was adopted to dope phosphorus ions. The performance of the novel mold insert was studied. Then, the developed mold insert was applied for the injection molding of micro-structures with high aspect ratios. Experimental results reveal that electrical heating lines formed within the novel mold insert can supply stable heating power. These electrical heating lines are used to heat the cavity wall of the silicon mold insert and the nearby plastic with appropriate timing at sufficient power in the cooling stage, such that the de-molding force associated with contraction of the patterned plastic grips to the micro-structured mold insert, is reduced. Furthermore the de-molding destruction of the injection molded micro-structures can be eliminated. Optical micro-structures with aspect ratios of up to eight were successfully injection-molded.
- Injection molding
- Mold insert