Printing of Microfluidic Structures
Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) is a popular approach to make disposable microfluidic devices at low numbers. µCP4.1 does the whole process in an unattended run. The instrument has to be supplied with a curable fotopolymer as well as with the printing substrate.
Instead of transferring an ink, the elevated patterns of the PDMS stamp shape their reverse image into a homogeneous layer on the stamp target. In a preceding step, the target surface has to be coated with an appropriated material, e.g. a liquid, UV-hardened, polymer. µCP 4.1 automatically produces homogenuous polymer layers by dispensing and spinning.
3D structures can be printed with SU8 photoresist or NOA (Norland). Heights of up to 150 microns are feasible. The aspect ratio height : width depends on the layout but can easily reach (3…5) : 1.
After detaching of the stamp the printed substrates can be sealed by cover lids in order to achieve microfluidic devices.