The objective of this project is to develop new and improved methods
for fabricating microchannel devices using plastic and ceramic
materials. Plastics are important candidate materials for microanalytical
devices and other microfluidic applications where their advan-tageous
thermal, electrical, and chemical properties can be exploited.
Many plastics are also amenable to a wide range of microforming
and machining methods, including laser micromachining and hot
embossing, that will allow development of low cost microfluidic
devices. Ceramic materials offer unique capabilities in high-temperature
and/or corrosive microfluidic applications. In addition to structural
applications, ceramic components can serve as thermal and electrical
insulators or as catalyst supports. Developing microfabrication
methods for ceramics and plastics is critical to the microfluidic
applications being developed under the Microsystems Science and
Engineering Initiative at PNNL.
Development of plastic microfabrication methods focused primarily
on patterning two-dimensional plastic sheets and laminating them
into three-dimensional microfluidic components. This effort was
a continuation of prior years of effort in this area, where considerable
potential had been demonstrated.
Efforts in the area of plastics fabrication during the past year
were aimed at testing several plastic materials with a variety
of characteristics. Many of these types of materials offer unique
challenges in terms of their patterning and bonding properties.
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