Electroforming can be used to produce a metallic copy of patterned photoresist masters, thus transforming sensitive micro/nanostructures made of photoresist into a robust metal tool.
For this purpose, a thin metal layer is sputtered on the patterned resist surface.
Afterwards, a nickel shim is deposited by electroforming. Typical thicknesses of the shims are in the range of 50 μm up to a few millimeter. The shim is finally laser or wire cut exactly to the required dimensions and if necessary laser welded to a sleeve.
In a similar way, metal parts are electroformed. In this case the galvanic deposition is stopped right before reaching the top of the resist pattern, thus achieving the micro-hole structures in the metal parts.