Narrow beamwidth is highly desirable for many micromechanical elements moving parallel to the substrate. A good example is the electrostatically driven flexure structure, whose driving voltage is determined by the width of the beam. This paper presents the process flow and the result of a high-aspect-ratio electroplating process using photoresist (PR) molds. Following a systematic optimization method, PR molds with aspect ratios up to 4.0 were fabricated with a beamwidth of only 2.1μm. Higher aspect ratios, up to 6.8, were achieved using PR double coating technique, with a beamwidth of 2.6μm. Using a Cr/Cu seed layer, nickel electroplating was successfully carried out to translate the PR molds into nickel micro-structures. We observed bend-down of the fully released nickel cantilevers that are over 8μm thick. Further investigation suggested a combined effect of residual stress gradient in the electroplated nickel layer and in-use stiction of the cantilever beams.

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