Spring 2014 IAB & Research Review
March 5 - 6

Plenary 6:
Dr. Jacobo Paredes

Functional Plastic Microstructures Fab'd with Electroplating and Hot Embossing

Microfluidic devices have become an essential tool in today’s research due to their unique characteristics and relatively simply fabrication processes. Although silicon, glass and poly (dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) are still the main materials used for the fabrication of these devices at the lab level, plastics are becoming more and more relevant in this context. Electrodes are one of the essential components of these devices that could act as actuators or sensors. The more common approach for integrating electrodes within microfluidic devices is by patterning and depositing a metallic layer on a substrate and then bonding the result to a microfluidic device.
In this work we present a novel approach for fabrication of plastic microfluidic devices with embedded metallic electrodes. Both the microfluidic network and the electrodes are fabricated using electrodeposition and hot embossing techniques with thermoplastic materials. Alignment and multilayer techniques could be combined with the presented procedure to fabricate more complex devices. A number of different applications could use the advantages of this methodology for both prototyping and commercial applications.