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Low-cost microfluidics on commercial grade poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) using deep-UV patterning

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.
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This thesis outlines a novel technique to economically pattern poly(methyl methacrilate) (PMMA) using a deep-UV radiation source in order to produce functional microfluidic components. PMMA has been used as a photoresist for many processes and applications, particularly for X-ray sources. However, the option of patterning it with inexpensive 254 nm sources has not been thoroughly explored. This thesis proposes a very inexpensive technology that can be used to pattern PMMA and produce microfluidic components. As such, this research shows that depths of well over 100 µm can be created using an un-collimated 254 nm radiation source. These depths are sufficient for creating functional microfluidic components. Using isopropyl alcohol (IPA):water developer, we characterized the dissolution rate of commercial grade PMMA as a function of the exposure dose and etch time. This thesis also highlights the dependence of development, as well as the bonding and functional performance, of simple microfluidic units.
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