This paper presents a novel method to create and integrate micro-machined devices and high aspect-ratio (height-to-width ratio) microstructures in which the microstructures are built up using multiple layers of photopolymer film and/or viscous solution. Very high aspect-ratio 2-and 3-dimensional (2-D and 3-D) microstructures were constructed by stacking photo-imageable polymer films. Such films may be dry films applied by lamination or solution layers applied by bar coating, or doctor blade coating. Photolithography is used in both cases to define the microstructure. This additive process of thin-film micromachining facilitates high aspect-ratio microstructure fabrication. We have demonstrated structures of up to 12-layers comprising 2-D arrays of deep trenches (180 μm deep and 25 μm wide) and a 2-layer SU-8 micro-trench array with an aspect ratio up to 36 on glass substrates. Miniaturized structures of interconnected reservoirs as small as 50 μm × 50 μm × 15 μm (∼38 pico liter storage capacity) are also being fabricated, along with a novel 5-layer microfluidic channel array and a vacuum-infiltration process for fluid manipulation. This method has the potential to create functional large-area micro-devices at low-cost and with increased device flexibility, durability, prototyping speed, and reduced process complexity for applications in optoelectronics, integrated detectors, and biodevices. The novel multi-layer photopolymer dry film and solution process also allows microstructures in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) to be built with ease and provides the functionality of MEMS integration with electronic devices and integrated circuits (ICs).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering