Micronit offers several polymer microfabrication technologies for rapid prototyping and product development of microfluidic devices:
- CNC micromilling
- Hot embossing
Commonly used polymers like PMMA, PC, COC and PS can be processed at low and medium volumes by using these techniques. For high-volume manufacturing Micronit is partnering with several experts in the field of micro injection molding.
Customized microstructures can either be milled directly into a polymer substrate (direct milling) or milled into metal molds for hot embossing of polymer substrates. Milling directly into a polymer substrate is a very effective way of rapid prototyping, because no masks or molds are needed. The feature size of micromilled structures can go down to 50 microns.
Micronit has hot embossing equipment to replicate microfluidic structures from a stamp (mold) into a polymer substrate. This efficient replication method, suitable for medium-volume manufacturing, allows the formation of smaller and smoother microstructures in polymer substrates compared to micromilling. The mold fabrication is performed at Micronit’s cleanroom facilities by lithographic processing.
After microstructuring a polymer substrate several bonding techniques can be applied to create the final microfluidic product:
- Adhesive bonding (micropatterned PSA or heat seal tapes)
- Fusion bonding (no intermediate layers)
- Solvent bonding (no intermediate layers)
The preferred bonding technique depends on the product specifications and the stage of the product development. Good bonding quality is achieved by accurate process control and cleanroom fabrication.