Dry etching of polydimethylsiloxane for microfluidic systems

  • Garra J
  • Long T
  • Currie J
 et al. 
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A fluorine-based reactive ion etch ?RIE? process has been developed to anisotropically dry etch the silicone elastomer polydimethylsiloxane ?PDMS?. This technique complements the standard molding procedure that makes use of forms made of thick SU-8 photoresist to produce features in the PDMS. Total gas pressure and the ratio of O2 to CF4 were varied to optimize etch rate. The RIE recipe developed in this study uses a 1:3 mixture of O2 to CF4 gas resulting in a highly directional and stable etch rate of approximately 20 ? m per hour. Selective dry etching can be performed through a photolithographically patterned metal etch mask providing greater precision and alignment with preexisting molded features. The dry etch process is presented in this article along with a brief comparison to recently reported wet etch approaches.

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  • J. Garra

  • T. Long

  • J. Currie

  • T. Schneider

  • R. White

  • M. Paranjape

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