We present a method to fabricate polymer optofluidic systems by means of injection molding that allow the insertion of standard optical fibers. The chip fabrication and assembly methods produce large numbers of robust optofluidic systems that can be easily assembled and disposed of, yet allow precise optical alignment and improve delivery of optical power. Using a multi-level chip fabrication process, complex channel designs with extremely vertical sidewalls, and dimensions that range from few tens of nanometers to hundreds of microns can be obtained. The technology has been used to align optical fibers in a quick and precise manner, with a lateral alignment accuracy of 2.7 ± 1.8 μm. We report the production, assembly methods, and the characterization of the resulting injection-molded chips for Lab-on-Chip (LoC) applications. We demonstrate the versatility of this technology by carrying out two types of experiments that benefit from the improved optical system: optical stretching of red blood cells (RBCs) and Raman spectroscopy of a solution loaded into a hollow core fiber. The advantages offered by the presented technology are intended to encourage the use of LoC technology for commercialization and educational purposes.
- Fiber-based optofluidics
- Injection molding
- Optical Trapping
- Hollow core fiber enhanced Raman spectroscopy