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Design and fabrication of 3-dimensional helical structures in polydimethylsiloxane for flow control applications
R.K. Singh, A. Kumar, R. Kant, , E. Suresh, S. Bhattacharya
Published in
Volume: 20
Issue: 1
Pages: 101 - 111
Soft lithography in 2-dimensional (2-D) was developed for polymer MEMS applications about two decades back. The technique was highly useful for replication of microstructure molds using a soft polymeric material called PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane). From its inception the process has been widely applied to microfluidics, biochips, hybrid biomedical microdevices etc. However, it was limited to only surface microstructures and 3-Dimensional (3-D) soft lithography although performed by some research groups involved some very precise and expensive techniques like stereolithography etc. The exploration of soft lithography in three dimensions by using a replication technique with copper wires with micron size diameters was performed by our group relatively recently (Singh et al. in International conference on MEMS, IIT Madras, Chennai, 2009). In this work we have used the 3-D replication and molding technique to develop concentric solenoid patterns around micro-channels in the bulk of PDMS. The solenoidal paths of various pitches ranging from 0.4 to 1.2 mm have been replicated in PDMS using an innovatively designed fixture. The solenoids have been structurally characterized using an inverted fluorescence microscope (Nikon 80i) for dimensional parameters like pitch, length etc. Further, the solenoidal path designs have been simulated, optimized and fabricated around a central channel of 80 μ diameter and we have observed the repeatability of this fabrication process multiple times. The purpose of this architecture is to initiate valving action wherein fluid movement in the central channel can be restricted by filling the surrounding solenoidal track with compressed air at high pressure so that it can squeeze the centrally located micro-channel carrying the liquid. This valving structure may find a lot of applications in lab on chip devices, PCR biochips, biomedical micro-devices etc. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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JournalMicrosystem Technologies