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Mask-free laser lithography for rapid and low-cost microfluidic device fabrication

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b03169 DOI Help

Authors: Tatiana Trantidou (Imperial College London) , Mark S. Friddin (Imperial College London) , Kin Boon Gan (Imperial College London) , Luyao Han (Imperial College London) , Guido Bolognesi (Loughborough University) , Nicholas J. Brooks (Imperial College London) , Oscar Ces (FABRICELL, Imperial College)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Analytical Chemistry

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 16024

Abstract: Microfluidics has become recognized as a powerful platform technology associated with a constantly increasing array of applications across the life sciences. This surge of interest over recent years has led to an increased demand for microfluidic chips, resulting in more time being spent in the cleanroom fabricating devices using soft lithography - a slow and expensive process that requires extensive materials, training and significant engineering resources. This bottleneck limits platform complexity as a by-product of lengthy delays between device iterations and impacts on the time spent developing the final application. To address this problem we report a new, rapid and economical approach to microfluidic device fabrication using dry resist films to laminate laser cut sheets of acrylic. We term our method laser lithography and show that our technique can be used to engineer 200 μm wide channels for assembling droplet generators capable of generating monodisperse water droplets in oil and micromixers designed to sustain chemical reactions. Our devices offer high transparency, negligible device-to-device variation, and low X-ray background scattering, demonstrating their suitability for real-time X-ray-based characterization applications. Our approach also requires minimal materials and apparatus, is cleanroom-free and at a cost of around $1.00 per chip, could significantly democratize device fabrication, thereby increasing the interdisciplinary accessibility of microfluidics.

Subject Areas: Chemistry


Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction