Deposition, surface functionalisation and activation

 

Surface functionalisation using various (bio)chemical and physical processes allows for the modification of the material properties, without altering their bulk characteristic. Micronit offers solutions for surface activation and finetuning of surface chemistry and biochemistry. We also provide solutions for localised surface modification, functionalisation of closed microchannels, adhesives and elastomers dispensing. Next to that, Micronit offers spotting of biomolecules, microarrays and biosensors fabrication. Micronit provides services in antistiction, antifouling and protective coatings as along with metallisation and electrode definition on polymers, glass and silicon.

Micronit spotter_hr.jpg Example spotting.JPG

Thin Film Deposition

Thin film deposition is the application of layers that differ from a few nanometres to many micrometres. This is made possible by various processes such as PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition), PLD (Physical Laser Deposition) and sputtering.

Ultimately, all processes result in a deposition of thin film that is often required for microfluidic and MEMS applications. The difference between CVD, PVD and PLD are the processes they employ, i.e. Physical, Chemical or High Power Pulsed Laser in Ultra High Vacuum.

Some techniques may be better in certain applications than others because of cost, ease, and a variety of other reasons;

Technical Details

  • Depositions of a few nm to 15 µm
  • Controlled refractive index
  • Adjustable stress

    Sputtering and evaporation
  • Cr, Au, Ni, Al, Pt, Pd, Ti, Ta, Cu, SiO2, ITO, CuNi, etc
  • Thickness up to 2000 nm (depending on stress and adhesion)
  • Electroplating > 2 µm
  • Multi layers
  • Annealing (re-crystallisation, stress reduction and diffusion of alloys)

    Plasma Deposition PECVD
    Thin films of Sio2, Sin and ONO are most common used.
  • Oxide (LF/HF)
  • Nitride (LF/HF)
  • Silicon-oxynitride (definded adjustable refractive index / tension)

    Furnace Processes
  • Wet oxidation
  • Dry oxidation
  • Annealing
  • Doping
  • Stoichiometric nitride
  • Stress resistant nitride
  • LPCVD (LTO, PSG, TEOS)
  • LPCVD poly silicon

Automated spotting of reagents

Lab-on-a-chip devices often require one or more reagents to provide accurate test results. These reagents can be added either as a liquid during the assay or pre-loaded on the device in a dried format. This dried format will then be reconstituted during the assay, thus reducing handling steps for the end-user and ensuring a longer shelf life for the product.

Micronit offers the ability to deposit picolitre spots with high accuracy on your desired substrate using an in-house automated piezo actuated non-contact dispensing system. This technology is ideal for depositing reagents or spotting microarrays on microscope slides, biosensors, membranes, microfluidic devices and many other substrates. Varying droplet volumes allow for transferring common assays into a microfluidic format, thereby reducing the amount of costly sample and reagents required as well as the assay turnaround time. It is possible to accurately deposit the reagents in your desired array on basically any substrate type. Furthermore, the ability to control humidity and temperature allow for controlled drying of reagents for consistent functional results.

Our experts have experience in spotting various reagents including proteins (i.e. enzymes, antibodies), nucleic acids (i.e. oligonucleotides), buffers, nano particles (i.e. beads), sugars and surfactants that allow us to support the development, integration and/or miniaturisation of your assay to a microfluidic format.

Spotting specifications for non-contact low volume liquid dispensing

    • Spotting area up to 80x36cm in size
    • Standard droplets of 360-440pl
    • Additional droplet range extension to 100-800pl
    • Spot dimensions are dependent on reagent and spotting substrate combination
    • Typically: 400pl – Ø 125/150µm | 10nl – Ø ~350µm
    • Spotting accuracy < 5µm
    • Time to spot 1µl < 30s
    • A cooling unit for reagents and target area
    • Controllable humidity

Droplets can be spotted individually, on top of each other, in an array or even overlapping

Customised quality control includes:

    • Target recognition and quality control of the spotted samples
    • Stroboscope camera for visual droplet shape and volume control

Benefits

  • One development partner that can apply your critical deposition and functionalisation properties
  • Specialised team to assist your R&D team
  • Scalable processes, from development to manufacturing