Special Issue "Micro/Nano Manufacturing"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Mechanical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. André Zimmermann

University of Stuttgart, Institute for Micro Integration (IFM), and Hahn-Schickard, Institute for Micro Assembly Technology, Allmandring 9 b, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: microtechnology micro manufacturing; nano manufacturing; microsystems technology; system integration; electronic packaging; electronic assembly and interconnection technology; sensors; reliability
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stefan Dimov

Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: micro manufacturing; micro replication; micro machining; laser micro processing; additive manufacturing; process chain design; functional surface patterning/texturing; process integration; technology maturity assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Micro manufacturing is dealing with the fabrication of structures in the order of 0.1 to 1000 µm. The scope of nano manufacturing extends the size range of manufactured features to even smaller length scales below 100 nm. A sharp borderline between micro and nano manufacturing can hardly be drawn, such that both domains are treated as complementary within a closely interconnected scientific community. Both micro and nano manufacturing can be considered as important enablers for high-end products. Especially, such products are enabled by micro and nano features and structures to incorporate special optical, electronic, mechanical, fluidic or biological functions in existing and new emerging products and thus lead to unique selling points. Application fields include, but are not restricted to, metrology, industrial technology, automotive technology, medical technology, and life sciences. This Special Issue is dedicated to recent advances in research and development within the field of micro and nano manufacturing. Therefore, papers are welcome that report recent findings and advances in manufacturing technologies for producing products with micro and nano scale features and structures. Furthermore, papers that report applications underpinned by such advances in micro and nano manufacturing technologies are also welcomed. In particular, the Special Issue intends to cover, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Micro fabrication technologies, process chains and process characterisation;
  • Novel product designs, micro-assembly technologies and micro-handling;
  • Surface engineering and interface nanotechnology;
  • Process modelling and simulation;
  • Processing and characterisation of smart materials, multifunctional materials, nanomaterials and material related issues in micro and nano scale;
  • Micro and nano additive manufacturing technologies;
  • Micro and desktop factory concepts, systems, components and modules;
  • On-line monitoring and inspection systems/methods;
  • Standardization in micro manufacturing and micro factories;
  • Applications of micro and nano technologies: microreactor technologies, microsensors and actuators

Prof. Dr. André Zimmermann
Prof. Dr. Stefan Dimov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • micro manufacturing
  • nano manufacturing
  • manufacturing technology
  • micro structures
  • nano structures
  • microtechnology
  • micromechanics
  • microoptics
  • microsystems technology
  • sensor integration
  • multi material manufacturing
  • micro fabrication
  • micro and nano additive manufacturing
  • micro-assembly
  • micro-handling
  • surface engineering and interface nanotechnology
  • standardization in micro manufacturing and micro factories
  • micro and desktop factory concepts, systems, components and modules
  • microreactors
  • microsensors
  • micro actuators

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Multiscale-Structure Wafer-Level Microlens Array Mold
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9030487
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
The design and manufacture of cost-effective miniaturized optics at wafer level, using
advanced semiconductor-like techniques, enables the production of reduced form-factor camera
modules for optical devices. However, suppressing the Fresnel reflection of wafer-level microlenses
is a major challenge. Moth-eye nanostructures not only satisfy [...] Read more.
The design and manufacture of cost-effective miniaturized optics at wafer level, using
advanced semiconductor-like techniques, enables the production of reduced form-factor camera
modules for optical devices. However, suppressing the Fresnel reflection of wafer-level microlenses
is a major challenge. Moth-eye nanostructures not only satisfy the antireflection requirement
of microlens arrays, but also overcome the problem of coating fracture. This novel fabrication
process, based on a precision wafer-level microlens array mold, is designed to meet the demand
for small form factors, high resolution, and cost effectiveness. In this study, three different kinds of
aluminum material, namely 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, high-purity polycrystalline aluminum, and pure
nanocrystalline aluminum were used to fabricate microlens array molds with uniform nanostructures.
Of these three materials, the pure nanocrystalline aluminum microlens array mold exhibited a
uniform nanostructure and met the optical requirements. This study lays a solid foundation for the
industrial acceptation of novel and functional multiscale-structure wafer-level microlens arrays and
provides a practical method for the low-cost manufacture of large, high-quality wafer-level molds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Miniaturized Optical Encoder with Micro Structured Encoder Disc
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9030452
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
A novel optical incremental and absolute encoder based on an optical application-specific integrated circuit (opto-ASIC) and an encoder disc carrying micro manufactured structures is presented. The physical basis of the encoder is the diffraction of light using a reflective phase grating. The opto-ASIC [...] Read more.
A novel optical incremental and absolute encoder based on an optical application-specific integrated circuit (opto-ASIC) and an encoder disc carrying micro manufactured structures is presented. The physical basis of the encoder is the diffraction of light using a reflective phase grating. The opto-ASIC contains a ring of photodiodes that represents the encryption of the encoder. It also includes the analog signal conditioning, the signal acquisition, and the control of a light source, as well as the digital position processing. The development and fabrication of the opto-ASIC is also described in this work. A laser diode was assembled in the center on top of the opto-ASIC, together with a micro manufactured polymer lens. The latter was fabricated using ultra-precision machining. The encoder disc was fabricated using micro injection molding and contains micro structures forming a blazed grating. This way, a 10-bit optical encoder with a form factor of only 1 cm3 was realized and tested successfully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of a Novel Culture Dish Adapter with a Small Recess Structure for Flow Control in a Closed Environment
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9020269
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
Cell culture medium replacement is necessary to replenish nutrients and remove waste products, and perfusion and batch media exchange methods are available. The former can establish an environment similar to that in vivo, and microfluidic devices are frequently used. However, these methods are [...] Read more.
Cell culture medium replacement is necessary to replenish nutrients and remove waste products, and perfusion and batch media exchange methods are available. The former can establish an environment similar to that in vivo, and microfluidic devices are frequently used. However, these methods are hampered by incompatibility with commercially available circular culture dishes and the difficulty in controlling liquid flow. Here, we fabricated a culture dish adapter using polydimethylsiloxane that has a small recess structure for flow control compatible with commercially available culture dishes. We designed U-shaped and I-shaped recess structure adapters and we examined the effects of groove structure on medium flow using simulation. We found that the U-shaped and I-shaped structures allowed a uniform and uneven flow of medium, respectively. We then applied these adaptors to 293T cell culture and examined the effects of recess structures on cell proliferation. As expected, cell proliferation was similar in each area of a dish in the U-shaped structure adapter, whereas in the early flow area in the I-shaped structure adapter, it was significantly higher. In summary, we succeeded in controlling liquid flow in culture dishes with the fabricated adapter, as well as in applying the modulation of culture medium flow to control cell culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Surface Roughness of Additively Manufactured Parts Using a Photopolymerization Model and Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010151
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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Abstract
Although additive manufacturing (AM) offers great potential to revolutionize modern manufacturing, its layer-by-layer process results in a staircase-like rough surface profile of the printed part, which degrades dimensional accuracy and often leads to a significant reduction in mechanical performance. In this paper, we [...] Read more.
Although additive manufacturing (AM) offers great potential to revolutionize modern manufacturing, its layer-by-layer process results in a staircase-like rough surface profile of the printed part, which degrades dimensional accuracy and often leads to a significant reduction in mechanical performance. In this paper, we present a systematic approach to improve the surface profile of AM parts using a computational model and a multi-objective optimization technique. A photopolymerization model for a micro 3D printing process, projection micro-stereolithography (PμSL), is implemented by using a commercial finite element solver (COMSOL Multiphysics software). First, the effect of various process parameters on the surface roughness of the printed part is analyzed using Taguchi’s method. Second, a metaheuristic optimization algorithm, called multi-objective particle swarm optimization, is employed to suggest the optimal PμSL process parameters (photo-initiator and photo-absorber concentrations, layer thickness, and curing time) that minimize two objectives; printing time and surface roughness. The result shows that the proposed optimization framework increases 18% of surface quality of the angled strut even at the fastest printing speed, and also reduces 50% of printing time while keeping the surface quality equal for the vertical strut, compared to the samples produced with non-optimized parameters. The systematic approach developed in this study significantly increase the efficiency of optimizing the printing parameters compared to the heuristic approach. It also helps to achieve 3D printed parts with high surface quality in various printing angles while minimizing printing time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Manufacturing of Micro-Lens Array Using Contactless Micro-Embossing with an EDM-Mold
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010085
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 26 December 2018
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Abstract
Micro embossing is an effective way to fabricate a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) specimen into micro-scale array structures with low cost and large volume production. A new method was proposed to fabricate a micro-lens array using a micro-electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM) mold. The micro-lens [...] Read more.
Micro embossing is an effective way to fabricate a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) specimen into micro-scale array structures with low cost and large volume production. A new method was proposed to fabricate a micro-lens array using a micro-electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM) mold. The micro-lens array with different shapes was established by controlling the processing parameters, including embossing temperature, embossing force, and holding time. In order to obtain the friction coefficient between the PMMA and the mold, ring compression tests were conducted on the Shenzhen University’s precision glass molding machine (SZU’s PGMM30). It was found that the friction coefficient between the PMMA specimen and the mold had an interesting change process with increasing of temperature, which affected the final shape and stress distribution of the compressed PMMA parts. The results of micro-optical imaging of micro-lens array indicated that the radius of curvature and local length could be controlled by adjusting the processing parameters. This method provides a basis for the fabrication and application of micro-lens arrays with low-cost, high efficiency, and mass production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Chatter Identification of Three-Dimensional Elliptical vibration Cutting Process Based on Empirical Mode Decomposition and Feature Extraction
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9010021
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
Three-dimensional elliptical vibration cutting (3D-EVC) is one of the machining methods with the most potential in ultra-precision machining; its unique characteristics of intermittent cutting, friction reversal, and ease of chip removal can improve the machinability of materials in the cutting processes. However, there [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional elliptical vibration cutting (3D-EVC) is one of the machining methods with the most potential in ultra-precision machining; its unique characteristics of intermittent cutting, friction reversal, and ease of chip removal can improve the machinability of materials in the cutting processes. However, there is still not much research about the chattering phenomenon in the 3D-EVC process. Therefore, based on the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) technique and feature extraction, a chatter identification method for 3D-EVC is proposed. In 3D-EVC operations, the vibration signal is collected by the displacement sensors and converted to frequency domain signal by fast Fourier transform (FFT). To identify tool cutting state using the vibration frequency signal, the vibration signals are decomposed using empirical mode decomposition (EMD), a series of intrinsic mode functions (IMFs), so the instantaneous frequency can be reflected by the vibration signals at any point. Then, selecting the primary IMFs which contain rich chatter information as the object in feature extraction identification, and two identification indexes, that is, the mean square frequency and self-correlation coefficient, are calculated for the primary IMFs by MATLAB software, to judge the chatter phenomenon. The experimental results showed that the mean square frequency and self-correlation coefficient of the three cutting states increase with the increase in the instability of the cutting state. The effectiveness of the improved chatter recognition method in 3D-EVC machining is verified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Theoretical Study of Path Adaptability Based on Surface Form Error Distribution in Fluid Jet Polishing
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 1814; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8101814
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
In the technology of computer-controlled optical surfacing (CCOS), the convergence of surface form error has a close relationship with the distribution of surface form error, the calculation of dwell time, tool influence function (TIF) and path planning. The distribution of surface form error [...] Read more.
In the technology of computer-controlled optical surfacing (CCOS), the convergence of surface form error has a close relationship with the distribution of surface form error, the calculation of dwell time, tool influence function (TIF) and path planning. The distribution of surface form error directly reflects the difference in bulk material removal depth across a to-be-polished surface in subsequent corrective polishing. In this paper, the effect of path spacing and bulk material removal depth on the residual error have been deeply investigated based on basic simulation experiments excluding the interference factors in the actual polishing process. With the relationship among the critical evaluation parameters of the residual error (root-mean-square (RMS) and peak-to-valley (PV)), the path spacing and bulk material removal depth are mathematically characterized by the proposed RMS and PV maps, respectively. Moreover, a variable pitch path self-planning strategy based on the distribution of surface form error is proposed to optimize the residual error distribution. In the proposed strategy, the influence of different bulk material removal depths caused by the distribution of surface form error on residual error is compensated by fine adjustment of the path spacing according to the obtained path spacing optimization models. The simulated experimental results demonstrate that the residual error optimization strategy proposed in this paper can significantly optimize the overall residual error distribution without compromising the convergence speed. The optimized residual error distribution obtained in sub-regions of the polished surface is more uniform than that without optimization and is almost unaffected by the distribution of parent surface form error. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Manufacturing)
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