[Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering] Photolithography-free laser-patterned HF acid-resis
Excellent chemical and physical properties of glass, over a range of operating conditions, make it a preferred material for chemical detection systems in analytical chemistry, biology, and the environmental sciences. However, it is often compromised with SU8, PDMS, or Parylene materials due to the sophisticated mask preparation requirements for wet etching of glass. Here, we report our efforts toward developing a photolithography-free laser-patterned hydrofluoric acid-resistant chromium-polyimide tape mask for rapid prototyping of microfluidic systems in glass. The patterns are defined in masking layer with a diode-pumped solid-state laser. Minimum feature size is limited to the diameter of the laser beam, 30 µm; minimum spacing between features is limited by the thermal shrinkage and adhesive contact of the polyimide tape to 40 µm. The patterned glass substrates are etched in 49% hydrofluoric acid at ambient temperature with soft agitation (in time increments, up to 60 min duration). In spite of the simplicity, our method demonstrates comparable results to the other current more sophisticated masking methods in terms of the etched depth (up to 300 µm in borosilicate glass), feature under etch ratio in isotropic etch (~1.36), and low mask hole density. The method demonstrates high yield and reliability. To our knowledge, this method is the first proposed technique for rapid prototyping of microfluidic systems in glass with such high performance parameters. The proposed method of fabrication can potentially be implemented in research institutions without access to a standard clean-room facility.
Konstantin O Zamuruyev, Yuriy Zrodnikov and Cristina E Davis1 Published 28 October 2016 • © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Volume 27, Number 1