Shimifrez Inc. of Concord, Ontario, Canada, a fabricator of precision photochemically etched and electroformed metal components, reports that the company will now offer shadow masks and micromachining services for OLED, Solar fabrication firms as well as research institutions worldwide.
“Metal masks are often used in evaporation or sputtering processes of structured metal or oxide layers. With the increasing requirements on precision and structure resolution, electroformed masks become more prevalent. Electroformed masks are characterized by vertical, burr-free edges and super sharp corners,” said Hassan Nojoumi, president and CEO of Shimifrez.
The company makes the shadow masks of nickel. Nickel has the additional advantage of magnetic attraction to the substrate surface, enabling the deposition of very sharp edges. For companies using vapor deposition to make OLEDs and other organic circuitry, Shimifrez says its custom shadow masks typically come in stainless steel but also come in nickel and other alloys.
Shimifrez Uses Printing Stencils for Conductor Tracks
The company points out that screen printing stencils are used to print the conductor tracks in the production of printed circuit boards, semiconductors, and thin-film solar cells. Shimifrez further asserts that with the continuous demand for increasing pattern resolution and precision, electroformed stencils are garnering more interest.
“Although we recommend kovar for most applications because it holds up well to temperatures and most chemicals, we have experience fabricating shadow masks from other metals as well. Our capabilities allow for thicknesses of 0.0002″ and up, with the smallest opening being 10 to 15 microns, the smallest space between openings being 15 microns and critical feature tolerance of +/- 1-2 microns,” added Nojoumi.
Shimifrez offers a rapid-response service to quickly deliver micro-components to industries such as the aerospace/satellite, telecommunications, microelectronics, automotive, and defense sectors. The company says that customers are now demanding relatively thin between 0.0005″ (0.01mm) to 0.032″ (0.8mm) complex and intricate metal components where modification to photo tooling can be done quickly and economically. Shimifrez contends that photo etching can produce a burr-free component because it does not affect the metal deformation caused by thermal or internal stresses or its magnetic properties.