(19)
(11)EP 3 744 197 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
03.08.2022 Bulletin 2022/31

(21)Application number: 19886057.9

(22)Date of filing:  08.08.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A24F 47/00(2020.01)
A24F 40/48(2020.01)
A24F 40/46(2020.01)
H05B 3/26(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
A24F 40/46; H05B 3/267; A24F 40/485; H05B 2203/013; H05B 3/44; H05B 2203/021; H05B 2203/022; H05B 3/04
(86)International application number:
PCT/CN2019/099830
(87)International publication number:
WO 2020/191985 (01.10.2020 Gazette  2020/40)

(54)

COATED SILICON-BASED ATOMIZATION CHIP OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE AND METHOD FOR PREPARING SAME

BESCHICHTETER ZERSTÄUBUNGSCHIP AUF SILICIUMBASIS FÜR EINE ELEKTRONISCHE ZIGARETTE UND VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG DAVON

PUCE D'ATOMISATION À BASE DE SILICIUM REVÊTUE POUR CIGARETTE ÉLECTRONIQUE ET SON PROCÉDÉ DE PRÉPARATION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 25.03.2019 CN 201910228763

(43)Date of publication of application:
02.12.2020 Bulletin 2020/49

(73)Proprietor: CHINA TOBACCO YUNNAN INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD
Wuhua District Kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)

(72)Inventors:
  • HAN, Yi
    Kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • LI, Shoubo
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • CHEN, Li
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • LI, Tinghua
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • XU, Yi
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • ZHU, Donglai
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • GONG, Xiaowei
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • ZHAO, Wei
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • ZHANG, Xia
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • WU, Jun
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)
  • CHEN, Yongkuan
    kunming Yunnan 650231 (CN)

(74)Representative: Gille Hrabal Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB Patentanwälte 
Brucknerstraße 20
40593 Düsseldorf
40593 Düsseldorf (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 3 104 721
CN-A- 104 768 407
CN-A- 108 158 039
CN-A- 109 770 438
CN-U- 206 603 262
US-A1- 2016 007 653
EP-A2- 2 463 410
CN-A- 105 394 816
CN-A- 108 158 040
CN-U- 205 831 080
CN-U- 208 624 642
US-B2- 6 815 348
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present invention belongs to the technical field of electronic cigarettes, and more specifically relates to a plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip and a preparation method thereof.

    Background



    [0002] The heating materials that have been already used in electronic cigarettes or reported in patents mainly include metals, ceramics, polymers, silicon, etc., and the most commonly used heating wires are made of metals. Among them, electronic cigarettes whose temperature cannot be adjusted use nickel-chromium alloy wires or Kanthal heating wires. The Kanthal heating wires are alloys containing nickel, chromium, aluminum, iron, etc. Temperature-controlled electronic cigarettes use pure nickel, pure titanium, or stainless steel as heating wires. The shapes of heating elements include a line shape, a filament shape, a sheet shape, a mesh shape, etc. Electronic cigarette liquid can be heated and atomized by contacting the surfaces or the interiors of the heating elements. For the filament-shaped or line-shaped heating element, there is a problem that the electronic cigarette liquid may be unevenly heated on the surface of the heating element due to the non-planar configuration. For the sheet-shaped heating element, although the heat generated is relatively more uniformly distributed on the surface of the heating element, the element lacks an electronic cigarette liquid dispersing member on the surface and the electronic cigarette liquid is prone to dispersing unevenly, resulting in uneven heating in local areas. For the mesh-shaped heating element, the contact area between the air and the heating element is increased and the electronic cigarette liquid is atomized more sufficiently, however, the heating element also lacks an electronic cigarette liquid dispersing member and there is still a problem of uneven heating due to uneven distribution of the electronic cigarette liquid. Therefore, the above-mentioned surface-contact heating elements commonly require materials such as oil-guiding cotton and the like to assist the dispersion of the electronic cigarette liquid, and these materials may cause new problems of uneven heating due to poor contact with the heating elements.

    [0003] To improve the above problems and shortcomings, heating channels are made inside silicon materials by micro-machining techniques. The electronic cigarette liquid is heated and atomized inside the silicon materials by the micro-machining properties and the electric heating properties of silicon, which increases heat energy utilization efficiency and does not require the use of additional electronic cigarette liquid dispersing materials. However, as semiconductor materials, silicon and metals have significantly different relationships between resistivity and temperature. In a narrow temperature range with a small maximum value, the resistivity of almost all metals changes linearly with the temperature. For semiconductors, the main factor determining the relationship between resistivity and temperature is the relationships of changes between carrier concentration and mobility with temperature. Specifically, at low temperatures, the carrier concentration increases exponentially, the carrier mobility also increases simultaneously, and the resistivity decreases with increasing temperature. At room temperature, the carrier concentration does not change, the carrier mobility decreases with increasing temperature, and the resistivity increases with increasing temperature. At high temperatures, the carrier concentration increases exponentially and rapidly, although the carrier mobility decreases with increasing temperature, the overall effect is that the resistivity decreases with increasing temperature. Due to the complex relationship between semiconductor resistivity and temperature, when a silicon-based heating material is practically applied to electronic cigarettes, the resistance of the silicon-based heating material fluctuates sharply during the electronic cigarette smoking process and at the high temperature required for atomization of electronic cigarette liquid, causing the instability of the atomization of the electronic cigarette liquid, which directly leads to fluctuations in puff number and sensory quality such as smoke volume.

    [0004] It is also referred to the documents CN108158039A and US6815348B2.

    Summary



    [0005] The present invention provides a plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip of claim 1 and a preparation method thereof of claim 4, which effectively solves the problems of existing atomizing chips, i.e., uneven heating and large fluctuations in puff number and smoke volume. The dependent claims describe referred embodiments.

    [0006] The present invention is realized by a plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip according to claim 1.

    [0007] The present invention relates to a plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip, including the following components:

    the silicon substrate 1, wherein the silicon substrate 1 is provided with an array of micro-pillars 2 , the inlet end 13, and the outlet end 14, the outer walls of the micro-pillars 2 are plated side walls, and the array of micro-pillars 2 defines a plurality of micro-channels 12 ;

    a glass cover 5, wherein the air holes 6 passing through the glass cover 5 are provided; and

    the glass cover 5 is fixedly connected to the silicon substrate 1 by a bonding process.



    [0008] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the diameter of the micro-pillar (2) ranges from 20 to 300 µm.

    [0009] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a plated metal on the plated outer walls of the micro-pillars 2 is a metal or an alloy whose standard electrode potential is more positive than that of Si/SiO2 (e.g., if the standard electrode potential of SiO2/Si is -0.888 V, and the standard electrode potential of Ni2+/Ni is -0.257 V, then the standard electrode potential of Ni2+/Ni is more positive than that of the SiO2/Si, Ni2+ can cause electrons to be generated during silicon oxidation and be reduced to Ni). The electrochemical reaction formula is as follows:

            Me"+ + ne- → Me     (1)

            Si+2H2O →SiO2+4H+ + 4e-     (2)

            SiH, + 2H2O →SiO2,+(4+x)H+ + (4+x)e-     (3)



    [0010] The present invention also relates to a method for preparing a plated
    silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip, including the following steps:
    1. a, etching an array of micro-pillars 2 , on the inlet end 13, and the outlet end 14 on the silicon substrate 1;
    2. b, cleaning the silicon substrate 1 after being etched in step a to obtain a clean surface of the silicon substrate to be electroplated;
    3. c, plating outer walls of the micro-pillars 2 by a plating method to obtain the plated silicon wafer 101;
    4. d, manufacturing an array of air holes 6 passing through the glass cover 5;
    5. e, bonding the plated silicon wafer 101 obtained in step c and the glass cover 5 obtained in step d to obtain the bonded silicon wafer 102 by a bonding process; and
    6. f, filling the inlet pipe 9 or a liquid-guiding material at the inlet end 13 of the bonded silicon wafer 102, filling the outlet pipe 10 or the liquid-guiding material at the outlet end 14, then, inserting wires into the bonded silicon wafer 102 to obtain the plated silicon-based atomizing chip 103.


    [0011] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in step d, the array of air holes 6 passing through the cross-section of the glass cover 5 is manufactured by a mechanical method or a chemical method.

    [0012] In the present invention, the silicon is etched by a dry or wet etching technique to obtain the silicon substrate 1 including the array of micro-pillars 2, the inlet end 13, and the outlet end 14, wherein when the dry etching technique (such as deep reactive-ion etching) is used, an array of vertical micro-pillars 2 can be obtained, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

    [0013] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the plating method in step c includes a chemical plating method and an electroplating method. When a plated electrothermal metal film is made by the electroplating method, highly doped silicon is preferred, such as a p+ type (100) oriented silicon wafer (1-10 Ωcm). After the etching is completed, the photoresist on the etched wafer is removed by cleaning with acetone or nitric acid, and then the residual polymer film deposited during the deep reactive-ion etching is removed by ashing in a high-temperature oxygen atmosphere. Then, the wafer is immersed in 50% hydrofluoric acid to remove the oxide film formed during the ashing process and to strip the residual carbon on the oxidized surface. Before plating with nickel, the wafer is immersed in 1% hydrofluoric acid, then rinsed with deionized water and spin-dried to obtain a clean surface to be plated.

    [0014] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the metal commonly used in the chemical plating method is nickel, and the chemical plating of nickel is a chemical reduction process, including a catalytic reduction of nickel ions in an aqueous solution (containing a reducing agent) and a subsequent deposition of metallic nickel. The process does not require electrical energy consumption. The chemical plating is performed by immersing the obtained silicon substrate 1 in a nickel plating bath containing nickel ions and the reducing agent. To maintain a stable reaction, a nickel ion organic complexing agent, a buffering agent, a stabilizer and the like may be added to the plating bath. Specifically, the nickel plating bath contains: (1) a source of nickel cations, such as nickel chloride and nickel sulfate; (2) a reducing agent, such as a hypophosphite anion, borohydride, or hydrazine; (3) an organic complexing agent that prevents the precipitation of nickel phosphate from complexing nickel ions and simultaneously acts as a buffer to prevent rapid decrease in pH, such as organic hydroxycarboxylic acids including glycolic acid, hydroxypropionic acid, citric acid, malic acid, etc.; (4) an "active agent" that increases the deposition rate of nickel, such as succinate anions, fatty acid anions, and alkali metal fluorides; (5) a stabilizer that prevents solution decomposition, such as thiourea, sodium ethylxanthate, lead sulfide, and tin sulfide; (6) a pH regulator that maintains a constant pH, such as acidic regulator sulfuric acid, and alkaline regulators including sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate; and (7) a wetting agent that increases the wettability of the plating liquid, such as sulfated alcohols, fatty acid sulfonates, and sulfonated oils. The plating bath may be an alkaline plating bath (pH 8-10) or an acidic plating bath (pH 4-6). The plating bath may include, but is not limited to, the following types: (1) a nickel sulfamate Ni(NH2SO3)2 bath; (2) a Watt bath containing nickel sulfate; (3) a nickel fluoborate bath; and (4) a nickel chloride bath.

    [0015] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the types of chemically plated films mainly include an alloy plated film and a metal plated film. The alloy plated film is formed by depositing a nickel alloy on the silicon substrate, where the alloy used is one selected from the group consisting of binary alloys (e.g., Ni-P, Ni-B, etc.), ternary alloys (e.g., Ni-P-B, Ni-W-P, Ni-Co-P, etc.), and quaternary alloys (e.g., Ni-W-Cu-P). The metal plated film refers to a film having pure nickel as the plated layer. p-type silicon or n-type silicon may be selected depending on the type of alloy to be plated.

    [0016] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the electroplating method includes the following two types.

    [0017] Method 1: micro-pillars 2 are removed with hydrofluoric acid and then the silicon substrate is immersed in methanol or ethanol to wet the surface. The silicon substrate 1 is placed in a nickel plating bath. In the nickel plating bath, a Pt-plated Ti electrode is used as an anode, and the cathode is the silicon substrate with the array of micro-pillars 2 for electroplating. During electroplating, the plating liquid is stirred and the plating bath is maintained at a predetermined temperature (45-65°C) to obtain a uniform nickel ion distribution. By selecting the plating conditions, nickel or nickel alloy can be deposited along the outer walls of the micro-pillars 2 without being deposited on the top and bottom horizontal surfaces outside the micro-pillars 2. The surface thickness of the deposited metal film can be further adjusted by changing the plating time.

    [0018] Method 2: According to a method that does not fall under the scope of the claims, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PEVCD) is used to deposit a certain thickness of silicon oxide on the top of the silicon substrate with the array of micro-holes 3. The silicon substrate is immersed in methanol or ethanol to wet the surface and then placed in a nickel plating bath. The electroplating is performed by the nickel plating manner of method 1. Due to the thin oxide mask layer, no deposition occurs on the top horizontal surface of the silicon substrate. This method can cover all the inner wall surfaces of the micro-holes 3 with nickel and its alloy. The thickness of the plated film can be adjusted by changing the plating time and current.

    [0019] The silicon substrate is preferably a highly doped p+ type or n+ type silicon wafer, because conventional p-type or n-type silicon wafer has high resistivity and is difficult to electroplate. If a conventional p-type or n-type silicon wafer is selected, it is required to take additional high temperature doping measures to reduce silicon resistance. As shown in FIG. 8 and FIG. 9, the conventional p-type or n-type silicon wafer is required to be doped with the phosphorus/boron doped layer 7 to reduce the resistance of the silicon substrate 1 and increase the adhesion with the plated layer. The use of the highly doped silicon wafer can fully conduct electricity, reduce silicon resistance, and provide a conductive path between the electrode and the micro-channel during electroplating without the need to deposit a seed layer, namely, a doped layer.

    [0020] A pure nickel plating has the same type plating bath as the chemical plating. For the electroplating method, a nickel or nickel alloy electrothermal film may be deposited on the inner walls of the micro-holes 3, or the nickel or nickel alloy electrothermal film may be deposited on the outer walls of the micro-pillars 2.

    [0021] The electroplating may use industrial plating methods such as direct current plating or pulse plating.

    [0022] The plated layer may be pure nickel or a nickel alloy. Nickel alloys for electroplating may use but not limit to nickel-cobalt alloys, nickel-copper alloys, nickel-cobalt-iron alloys, nickel-copper-iron alloys, etc. The deposition method is irregular deposition. Among them, the nickel-cobalt co-deposition may use a sulfate plating bath, a chloride plating bath, a chloride-sulfate plating bath, or a sulfamate plating bath, the nickel-copper co-deposition uses a citrate plating bath and a pyrophosphate plating bath, and the nickel-cobalt-iron irregular electrodeposition uses a sulfate plating bath, and the nickel-copper-iron irregular electrodeposition uses an acetate plating bath.

    [0023] The plated metal of the present invention is not limited to nickel or nickel alloys. In theory, any metal with a standard electrode potential that is more positive than the standard electrode potential of Si/SiO2 can be deposited on silicon.

    [0024] The plated silicon wafer 101 plated with nickel or a nickel alloy is shown in FIG. 3.

    [0025] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the glass cover 5 is preferably made of Pyrex glass with excellent heat resistance. The through-holes 6 are formed on the glass surface by mechanical (such as a micro-drilling technique), chemical (such as hydrofluoric acid corrosion), and other methods with a pore size ranging from nanometers to micrometers.

    [0026] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, an anodic bonding process is used for the silicon substrate 1 and the glass cover 5, where the plated silicon wafer 101 and the glass cover 5 are bonded by an anodic bonding method under high temperature and high voltage. The high temperature during bonding improves the adhesion between the electroplated nickel layer and the doped silicon. After the bonding is completed, the bonded silicon wafer 102 is obtained, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. The bonded silicon wafers plated with nickel or a nickel alloy on the outer walls of the array of micro-pillars 2 is shown in FIG. 4, and this structure includes the silicon substrate 1, the glass cover 5, the array of micro-pillars 2, and the nickel or nickel alloy plated film 4. According to an example that does not fall under the scope of the claims, the silicon wafer plated with the nickel or nickel alloy on the inner walls of the array of micro-holes 3 is shown in FIG. 6, FIG. 7, and FIG. 8, and this structure includes the silicon substrate 1, the glass cover 5, the doped layer 7, the array of micro-holes 3, and the nickel or nickel alloy plated film 4. According to an example that does not fall under the scope of the claims, the silicon wafer plated with the nickel or nickel alloy on the inner surfaces of the array of the micro-holes 3 is shown in FIG. 9, and this structure includes the silicon substrate 1, the silicon dioxide layer 8, the glass cover 5, the doped layer 7, the array of micro-holes 3, and the nickel or nickel alloy plated film 4. The doped layer 7 is a phosphorus/boron doped layer.

    [0027] In the present invention, the electronic cigarette liquid inlet end 13 of the bonded silicon wafer 102 is embedded with the electronic cigarette liquid inlet pipe 9, and the outlet end 14 is embedded with the electronic cigarette liquid outlet pipe 10, and the electronic cigarette liquid inlet and outlet are sealed. Among them, the inlet pipe 9 is connected to an electronic cigarette liquid driving device such as a micro pump or a micro driver, and the outlet pipe 10 is connected to a liquid storage tank, so that a circuit is formed between the electronic cigarette liquid driving device, the chip and the liquid storage tank. The diameter of the pipeline is determined by the thickness of the chip and the fluidity of the electronic cigarette liquid. The material of the pipeline is selected from elastic or hard insulating materials such as quartz and polymer with high temperature and corrosion resistance. The electronic cigarette liquid inlet end 13 and the outlet end 14 of the chip are embedded with a liquid-guiding material that can absorb the liquid, such as cotton, fiber, etc., and the other end extends into the liquid in the liquid storage tank to form a circuit between the chip and the liquid storage tank. The electronic cigarette liquid is rapidly dispersed in the micro-channel in the chip by external driving pressure, the capillary effect of the liquid-guiding member, and the surface tension between the electronic cigarette liquid and the micro-channel. Embedding wires 11 is inserting the wires into the chip, so that the metal micro-channel is electrically connected to an external power source. The wires and the chip can be fixed by welding or sintering. High temperature conductive liquid glue may be used as an electrical connection point. Finally, the plated silicon-based atomizing chip 103 is prepared, as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11.

    [0028] In the present invention, silicon is a substrate material commonly used in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Various patterns and structures can be prepared on the surface and inside of the silicon material through a micro-machining technique. Since metals and alloys can be deposited on recessed and non-uniform surfaces in the electrodeposition process, the present invention can be applied to the MEMS field. Silicon as a substrate for metal deposition has the following features: silicon commonly has a weak interaction with deposited metals, which leads to the three-dimensional island-like growth of the metals in silicon. Once metal deposition occurs on the silicon surface, there may be electrochemical reactions on the deposited surface with a reaction rate faster than the unplated silicon surface. As a semiconductor, silicon transfers electrons to the valence band through conduction band or hole injection to induce a cathodic reaction or deposition reaction. In addition, silicon has a feature of photo-induced excitation. Porous semiconductors are not insulated, which makes it possible for electrodeposition of metals in the hole walls of silicon. Moreover, silicon is cheap and its surface can act as a reducing agent, which can spontaneously deposit some metals. The use of nickel and its alloys is based on the following reasons: first, the physical and chemical properties and electrical and thermal properties of pure nickel and nickel-based alloys meet the requirements of electronic cigarettes in working parameters such as voltage, power, and atomization temperature; second, nickel and its alloys are inexpensive and meet the cost requirements of electronic cigarette products; and third, nickel and its alloys are commonly used metals for plating in the electroplating industry and the metal deposition process is simple, mature and reliable.

    [0029] The preparation and working principle of the device of the present invention are as follows.

    [0030] First, the array of micro-pillars are etched on the silicon substrate 1 by a micro-machining technique, and the array of micro-pillars 2 defines the electronic cigarette liquid micro-channel. Then, a nickel electrothermal film or a nickel alloy electrothermal film is plated on the surface of the micro-channel by electroplating or chemical plating, and the glass cover 5 is bonded on the silicon surface through a bonding process. The electronic cigarette liquid is introduced into the micro-channel inside the chip by the liquid-guiding member (such as liquid-guiding cotton or liquid-guiding pipe) connected to the atomizing chip and atomized by heating while being dispersed. The generated aerosol is released from the air holes 6 of the porous glass.

    [0031] According to an example that does not fall under the scope of the claims, during the plating process, especially when the plating is performed on the inner wall of the micro-hole 3, the plating may be performed in the direction perpendicular to the inner wall of the micro-hole 3. In this way, the plating is only performed on the inner wall of the micro-hole 3, and the bottom of the micro-hole 3 is not plated. Alternatively, the plating may be performed in the direction perpendicular to the inner wall of the micro-hole 3 and the direction perpendicular to the bottom of the micro-hole 3 simultaneously. When the plating is performed perpendicular to the bottom of the micro-hole 3, the non-porous region of the array of micro-holes 3 is required to be covered with the silicon dioxide layer 8 to prevent the non-porous region from plating, as shown in FIG. 9.

    [0032] Advantages:
    1. 1. The present invention provides an electronic cigarette atomizing chip, where micro-pillars are etched on the silicon substrate, and the micro-pillars define a plurality of micro-channels on the silicon substrate. These micro-channel form an electronic cigarette liquid dispersing member, so that the electronic cigarette liquid is dispersed in the micro-channels.
      The electronic cigarette liquid is uniformly dispersed, the heat is uniform, which makes the electronic cigarette liquid atomize adequately.
    2. 2. In the present invention, the surface of the silicon-based heating material is plated so that the electronic cigarette liquid is not affected by the sharp fluctuation of the silicon-based resistance during the heating process. The electronic cigarette liquid can be atomized stably, and the puff number and sensory quality are kept consistent.
    3. 3. In the present invention, silicon is used as the substrate material of the atomizing chip, and the cost is low, which greatly reduces the manufacturing cost of the electronic cigarette atomizing chip and is convenient for mass production of this type of atomizing chip.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0033] 

    FIG. 1 is a structural schematic diagram of a silicon substrate with micro-channels defined by an array of micro-pillars;

    FIG. 2 is a structural schematic diagram of a silicon substrate with micro-channels defined by an array of micro-holes;

    FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a silicon substrate with outer walls of an array of micro-pillars plated with nickel or a nickel alloy;

    FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a bonded silicon wafer with outer walls of an array of micro-pillars plated with nickel or a nickel alloy;

    FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a bonded silicon wafer with outer walls of an array of micro-pillars plated with nickel or a nickel alloy;

    FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a bonded silicon wafer with inner walls of an array of micro-holes plated with nickel or a nickel alloy, said silicon wafer not falling under the scope of the claims;

    FIG. 7 is an exploded view of a bonded silicon wafer with inner walls of an array of micro-holes plated with nickel or a nickel alloy, said silicon wafer not falling under the scope of the claims;

    FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a silicon wafer with inner walls of an array of micro-holes plated with nickel or a nickel alloy, said silicon wafer not falling under the scope of the claims;

    FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a silicon wafer with inner walls of an array of micro-holes plated with nickel or a nickel alloy, said silicon wafer not falling under the scope of the claims;

    FIG. 10 is a structural schematic diagram of a plated atomizing chip with an array of plated micro-pillars; and

    FIG. 11 is a structural schematic diagram of a plated atomizing chip with an array of plated micro-holes, said plated atomizing chip not falling under the scope of the claims.



    [0034] The meanings of the reference signs are as follows:
    1-silicon substrate, 2-micro-pillar, 3-micro-hole, 4-plated film, 5-glass cover, 6-air hole, 7-doped layer, 8-silicon dioxide layer, 9-inlet pipe, 10-outlet pipe, 11-wire, 12-micro-channel, 13-inlet end, 14-outlet end, 15-electronic cigarette liquid channel, 101-plated silicon wafer, 102-bonded silicon wafer, and 103-plated silicon-based atomizing chip.

    Detailed Description of the Embodiments


    Embodiment 1



    [0035] The structure of the plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip in this embodiment is as follows.

    [0036] The array of micro-pillars 2, the inlet end 13, and the outlet end 14 are arranged on the silicon substrate 1. The outer walls of the micro-pillars 2 are plated side walls. The array of micro-pillars 2 defines a plurality of micro-channels 12.

    [0037] The glass cover 5 is provided with the air holes 6 that pass through the glass cover 5.

    [0038] The glass cover 5 and the silicon substrate 1 are fixedly connected by an anodic bonding process.

    [0039] In this embodiment, an electroplating method is used to plate the outer walls of the micro-pillars 2, and nickel is used as the plated metal.

    Embodiment 2



    [0040] The plated silicon-based chip of this embodiment does not fall under the scope of the claims. The structure of the plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip in this example is as follows.

    [0041] The array of micro-holes 3, the inlet end 13, and the outlet end 14 are arranged on the silicon substrate 1. The inner walls of the micro-holes 3 are plated inner walls. The electronic cigarette liquid channels that passes through the micro-holes 3 are provided on the silicon substrate 1.

    [0042] The glass cover 5 is provided with the air holes 6 that pass through the glass cover 5.

    [0043] The glass cover 5 and the silicon substrate 1 are fixedly connected by an anodic bonding process.

    [0044] In this example, a chemical plating method is used to plate the inner walls of the micro-holes 3, and a Ni-P alloy is used as the plated metal.


    Claims

    1. A plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip, comprising the following components:

    a silicon substrate (1), wherein the silicon substrate (1) is provided with an inlet end (13), and an outlet end (14) and a glass cover (5), wherein air holes (6) passing through the glass cover (5) are provided; and

    the glass cover (5) being fixedly connected to the silicon substrate (1) by a bonding process, the plated silicon-based electronic cigarette being characterized in that the silicon substrate is further provided with an array of micro-pillars (2), the outer walls of said micro-pillars are plated side walls and in that said array of micro-pillars (2) defines a plurality of micro-channels (12).


     
    2. The plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip according to claim 1, wherein a plated metal on the plated outer walls of the micro-pillars (2) is a metal or an alloy whose standard electrode potential is more positive than that of Si/SiO2.
     
    3. The plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip according to claim 1, wherein the diameter of the micro-pillars (2) ranges from 20 µm to 300 µm.
     
    4. A method for preparing a plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip, comprising the following steps:

    a, etching an array of micro-pillars (2), an inlet end (13), and an outlet end (14) on a silicon substrate (1);

    b, cleaning the silicon substrate (1) after being etched in step a to obtain a clean surface of the silicon substrate to be electroplated;

    c, plating outer walls of micro-pillars (2) by a plating method to obtain a plated silicon wafer (101);

    d, manufacturing an array of air holes (6) passing through a glass cover (5);

    e, bonding the plated silicon wafer (101) obtained in step c with the glass cover (5) obtained in step d to obtain a bonded silicon wafer (102) by a bonding process; and

    f, filling an inlet pipe (9) or a liquid-guiding material at the inlet end (13) of the bonded silicon wafer (102), filling an outlet pipe (10) or the liquid-guiding material at the outlet end (14), then, inserting wires into the bonded silicon wafer (102) to obtain the plated silicon-based atomizing chip (103).


     
    5. The method for preparing the plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip according to claim 4, wherein
    the cleaning in step b comprises: 1, cleaning and removing a photoresist etched on the silicon substrate (1) with acetone or nitric acid; 2, ashing in an oxygen atmosphere to remove an residual polymer film, 3, immersing the silicon substrate (1) in hydrofluoric acid to remove an oxide film formed during ashing and to strip residual carbon from an oxidized surface; and 4, immersing the silicon substrate (1) in hydrofluoric acid, then washing with water and drying to obtain a clean surface to be electroplated.
     
    6. The method for preparing the plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip according to claim 4, wherein the plating method in step c comprises a chemical plating method or an electroplating method.
     
    7. The method for preparing the plated silicon-based electronic cigarette atomizing chip according to claim 4, wherein in step d, a mechanical method or a chemical method is used to prepare the array of air holes (6) passing through a cross-section of the glass cover (5).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ein plattierter Zerstäubungschip einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis, umfassend die folgenden Komponenten:

    ein Siliziumsubstrat (1), wobei das Siliziumsubstrat (1) mit einem Einlassende (13) und einem Auslassende (14) und einer Glasabdeckung (5) versehen ist, wobei Luftlöcher (6) vorgesehen sind, die durch die Glasabdeckung (5) hindurchgehen; und

    die Glasabdeckung (5) fest mit dem Siliziumsubstrat (1) durch einen Klebeprozess verbunden ist, wobei die plattierte elektronische Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass das Siliziumsubstrat ferner mit einer Anordnung von Mikrosäulen (2) versehen ist, wobei die Außenwände der Mikrosäulen (2) plattierte Seitenwände sind, und dass die Anordnung von Mikrosäulen (2) eine Vielzahl von Mikrokanälen (12) definiert.


     
    2. Der plattierte Zerstäubungschip einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei ein plattiertes Metall auf den plattierten Außenwänden der Mikrosäulen (2) ein Metall oder eine Legierung ist, dessen/deren Standardelektrodenpotential positiver ist als das von Si/Si02.
     
    3. Der plattierte Zerstäubungschip einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei der Durchmesser der Mikrosäulen (2) im Bereich von 20 µm bis 300 µm liegt.
     
    4. Ein Verfahren zur Herstellung eines plattierte Zerstäubungschips einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis, umfassend die folgenden Schritte:

    a, Ätzen einer Anordnung von Mikrosäulen (2), eines Einlassendes (13) und eines Auslassendes (14) auf einem Siliziumsubstrat (1);

    b, Reinigen des Siliziumsubstrats (1) nach dem Ätzen in Schritt a, um eine saubere Oberfläche des zu galvanisierenden Siliziumsubstrats zu erhalten;

    c, Plattieren von Außenwänden von Mikrosäulen (2) durch ein Plattierungsverfahren, um einen plattierten Siliziumwafer (101) zu erhalten;

    d, Herstellen einer Anordnung von Luftlöchern (6), die durch eine Glasabdeckung (5) hindurchgehen;

    e, Kleben des in Schritt c erhaltenen plattierten Siliziumwafers (101) mit der in Schritt d erhaltenen Glasabdeckung (5), um durch einen Klebeprozess einen geklebten Siliziumwafer (102) zu erhalten; und

    f, Füllen eines Einlassrohrs (9) oder eines flüssigkeitsführenden Materials am Einlassende (13) des geklebten Siliziumwafers (102), Füllen eines Auslassrohrs (10) oder des flüssigkeitsführenden Materials am Auslassende (14), dann Einsetzen von Drähten in den geklebten Siliziumwafer (102), um den plattierten Zerstäubungschip (103) auf Siliziumbasis zu erhalten.


     
    5. Das Verfahren zur Herstellung des plattierten Zerstäubungschips einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis gemäß Anspruch 4, wobei
    die Reinigung in Schritt b umfasst: 1, Reinigen und Entfernen eines auf das Siliziumsubstrat (1) geätzten Fotolacks mit Aceton oder Salpetersäure; 2, Veraschen in einer Sauerstoffatmosphäre, um einen verbleibenden Polymerfilm zu entfernen; 3, Eintauchen des Siliziumsubstrats (1) in Flusssäure, um einen während des Veraschens gebildeten Oxidfilm zu entfernen und um verbleibenden Kohlenstoff von einer oxidierten Oberfläche zu entfernen; und 4, Eintauchen des Siliziumsubstrats (1) in Flusssäure, anschließend Waschen mit Wasser und Trocknen, um eine saubere, zu galvanisierende Oberfläche zu erhalten.
     
    6. Das Verfahren zur Herstellung des plattierten Zerstäubungschips einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis gemäß Anspruch 4, wobei das Plattierungsverfahren in Schritt c ein chemisches Plattierungsverfahren oder ein Galvanisierungsverfahren umfasst.
     
    7. Das Verfahren zur Herstellung des plattierten Zerstäubungschips einer elektronischen Zigarette auf Siliziumbasis gemäß Anspruch 4, wobei in Schritt d ein mechanisches Verfahren oder ein chemisches Verfahren verwendet wird, um die Anordnung von Luftlöchern (6) herzustellen, die durch einen Querschnitt der Glasabdeckung (5) hindurchgehen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée, comprenant les composants suivants :

    un substrat de silicium (1), dans lequel le substrat de silicium (1) est muni d'une extrémité d'entrée (13) et d'une extrémité de sortie (14) et d'un couvercle en verre (5), dans lequel des trous d'air (6) traversant le couvercle en verre (5) sont pourvus ; et

    le couvercle en verre (5) étant relié de manière fixe au substrat de silicium (1) par un procédé de collage, la cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée étant caractérisée en ce que le substrat de silicium est en outre pourvu d'un réseau de micro-piliers (2), les parois extérieures desdits micro-piliers sont des parois latérales plaquées et en ce que ledit réseau de micro-piliers (2) définit une pluralité de micro-canaux (12).


     
    2. Puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle un métal plaqué sur les parois extérieures plaquées des micro-piliers (2) est un métal ou un alliage dont le potentiel d'électrode standard est plus positif que celui de Si/SiO2.
     
    3. Puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le diamètre des micro-piliers (2) est compris entre 20 µm et 300 µm.
     
    4. Procédé pour préparer une puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée, comprenant les étapes suivantes :

    a, graver un réseau de micro-piliers (2), une extrémité d'entrée (13) et une extrémité de sortie (14) sur un substrat de silicium (1) ;

    b, nettoyer le substrat de silicium (1) après avoir été gravé à l'étape a pour obtenir une surface propre du substrat de silicium à électroplaquer ;

    c, plaquer les parois extérieures des micro-piliers (2) par un procédé de plaquage pour obtenir une plaquette de silicium plaquée (101) ;

    d, fabriquer un réseau de trous d'air (6) traversant un couvercle en verre (5) ;

    e, coller la plaquette de silicium plaquée (101) obtenue à l'étape c avec le couvercle en verre (5) obtenu à l'étape d pour obtenir une plaquette de silicium collée (102) par un procédé de collage ; et

    f, remplir un tuyau d'entrée (9) ou un matériel de guidage de liquide à l'extrémité d'entrée (13) de la plaquette de silicium collée (102), remplir un tuyau de sortie (10) ou le matériel de guidage de liquide à l'extrémité de sortie (14), puis, insérer des fils dans la plaquette de silicium collée (102) pour obtenir la puce d'atomisation à base de silicium plaquée (103).


     
    5. Procédé de préparation de la puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée selon la revendication 4, dans lequel
    le nettoyage à l'étape b comprend : 1, nettoyer et éliminer une résine photosensible gravée sur le substrat de silicium (1) avec de l'acétone ou de l'acide nitrique ; 2, calciner dans une atmosphère d'oxygène pour éliminer un film polymère résiduel ; 3, immerger le substrat de silicium (1) dans de l'acide fluorhydrique pour éliminer un film d'oxyde formé pendant la calcination et pour éliminer le carbone résiduel d'une surface oxydée ; et 4, immerger le substrat de silicium (1) dans de l'acide fluorhydrique, puis laver à l'eau et sécher pour obtenir une surface propre à électroplaquer.
     
    6. Procédé de préparation de la puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le procédé de plaquage à l'étape c comprend un procédé de plaquage chimique ou un procédé d'électroplacage.
     
    7. Procédé de préparation de la puce d'atomisation de cigarette électronique à base de silicium plaquée selon la revendication 4, dans lequel à l'étape d, un procédé mécanique ou un procédé chimique est utilisé pour préparer le réseau de trous d'air (6) passant à travers une section transversale du couvercle en verre (5).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description