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A new masking technology for deep glass etching and its microfluidic application

Minqiang Bu1, Tracy Melvin1, Graham J.Ensell1, James S.Wilkinson1,2 and Alan G.R.Evans1

1. School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK
2. Optoelectronics Research Center, University of Southampton, UK


A new masking technology for wet etching of glass, to a depth of more than 300μm, is reported. Various mask materials, which can be patterned by standard photolithography and metal etching processes, were investigated for glass etching in concentrated hydrofluoric acid (HF). A multilayer of metal, Cr/Au/Cr/Au, in combination with thick SPR220-7 photoresist, was found to be ideal for this purpose. Through holes etched from both sides of a 500μm thick Pyrex glass wafer were obtained. Pinholes, created in the glass by failure of simple metal masking when subjected to HF etching, were successfully eliminated using the newmasking technology. In addition, the lateral undercutting of glass caused by the underetching of the Cr mask was minimized to 27% of the etching depth. With these advantages, this newly developed masking method was successfully applied to fabricate microfluidic components for a micro-peristaltic pump to be integrated in a micro polymerase chain reaction (PCR) device. These components include through holes for liquid accessing and electrical contacting and a 200μm thick pump diaphragm. This new masking technology also adds to the methods available to fabricate the microfluidic devices in glass substrates.

Sensors and Actuators A: Physical (2004) Vol.115(2-3) pp.476-482

doi: 10.1016/j.sna.2003.12.013

Southampton ePrint id: 30220


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