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Stainless steel pinholes for fast fabrication of high-performance microchip electrophoresis devices by CO2 laser ablation


Yap, YC and Guijt, RM and Dickson, TC and King, AE and Breadmore, MC, Stainless steel pinholes for fast fabrication of high-performance microchip electrophoresis devices by CO2 laser ablation, Analytical Chemistry, 85, (21) pp. 10051-10056. ISSN 0003-2700 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Chemical Society

DOI: doi:10.1021/ac402631g


With the introduction of hobby laser engravers/cutters, the use of CO2 laser micromachining on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) has the potential for flexible, low cost, rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices. Unfortunately, the feature size created by most entry-level CO2 laser micromachining systems is too large to become a functional tool in analytical microfluidics. In this paper, we report a novel method to reduce the feature size of microchannels and the bulges formed at the rim of the channel during CO2 laser micromachining by passing the laser beam through a stainless steel pinhole. Without the pinhole, the channel width was typically 300 μm wide. However, when 50 or 35 μm diameter pinholes were used, channel widths of 60 and 25 μm, respectively, could be obtained. The height of the bulge deposited directly next to the channel was reduced to less than 0.8 μm with the pinhole during ablation. Separations of fluorescent dyes on devices ablated with and without the pinhole were compared. On devices fabricated with the pinhole, the number of theoretical plates/m was 2.2-fold higher compared to devices fabricated without the pinhole, and efficiencies comparable to embossed PMMA and laser ablated glass chips were obtained. A mass-produced commercial hobby laser (retailing at ~$2500), when equipped with a $500 pinhole, represents a rapid and low-cost approach to the rapid fabrication of rigid plastic microchips including the narrow microchannels required for microchip electrophoresis.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Analytical chemistry
Research Field:Analytical chemistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Manufacturing
Objective Group:Fabricated metal products
Objective Field:Fabricated metal products not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Yap, YC (Dr Yiing Yap)
UTAS Author:Guijt, RM (Dr Rosanne Guijt)
UTAS Author:Dickson, TC (Professor Tracey Dickson)
UTAS Author:King, AE (Professor Anna King)
UTAS Author:Breadmore, MC (Professor Michael Breadmore)
ID Code:88254
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2014-01-23
Last Modified:2017-11-06
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