In this article, we focus on the enormous potential of a CO2-laser system for rapidly producing polymer microfluidic structures. The dependence was assessed of the depth and width of laser-cut channels on the laser beam power and on the number of passes of the beam along the same channel. In the experiments the laser beam power was varied between 0 and 40 W and the passes were varied in the range of 1 to 7 times. Typical channel depths were between 100 and 300 m m, while the channels were typically 250 m m wide. The narrowest produced channel was 85 m m wide. Several bonding methods for microstructured PMMA [poly( methyl methacrylate)] parts were investigated, such as solvent-assisted glueing, melting, laminating and surface activation using a plasma asher. A solvent-assisted thermal bonding method proved to be the most time-efficient one. Using laser micromachining together with bonding, a three-layer polymer microstructure with included optical fibers was fabricated within two days. The use of CO2-laser systems to produce microfluidic systems has not been published before. These systems provide a cost effective alternative to UV-laser systems and they are especially useful in microfluidic prototyping due to the very short cycle time of production.
|Journal||Lab on a Chip|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|