A diamond-like carbon (DLC) film, coated on an SKD11 (alloy tool steel) substrate, was shaped by plasma oxidation to form an assembly of DLC macro-pillars and to be used as a DLC-punch array that is micro-embossed into aluminum sheets. First, the SKD11 steel die substrate was prepared and DLC-coated to have a film thickness of 10 μm. This DLC coating worked as a punch material. The two-dimensional micro-patterns were printed onto this DLC film by maskless lithography. The unprinted DLC films were selectively removed by plasma oxidation to leave the three-dimensional DLC-punch array on the SKD11 substrate. Each DLC punch had a head of 3.5 μm × 3.5 μm and a height of 8 μm. This DLC-punch array was fixed into the cassette die set for amicro-embossing process using a table-top servo-stamper. Furthermore, through numerically controlled micro-embossing, an alignment of rectangular punches was transcribed into a micro-cavity array in the aluminum sheet. The single micro-cavity had a bottom surface of 3.2 μm × 3.2 μm and an average depth of 7.5 μm. A heat-transfer experiment in boiling water was also performed to investigate the effect ofmicro-cavity texture on bubbling behavior and the boiling curve.
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