Fine structuration of low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) microreactors
The development of microreactors that operate under harsh conditions is always of great interest for many applications. Here we present a microfabrication process based on low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) technology for producing microreactors which are able to perform chemical processes at elevated temperature (>400 degrees C) and against concentrated harsh chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. Various micro-scale cavities and/or fluidic channels were successfully fabricated in these microreactors using a set of combined and optimized LTCC manufacturing processes. Among them, it has been found that laser micromachining and multi-step low-pressure lamination are particularly critical to the fabrication and quality of these microreactors. Demonstration of LTCC microreactors with various embedded fluidic structures is illustrated with a number of examples, including micro-mixers for studies of exothermic reactions, multiple-injection microreactors for ionone production, and high-temperature microreactors for portable hydrogen generation.