Polyimide and SU-8 microfluidic devices manufactured by heat- depolymerizable sacrificial material technique
The following paper describes a sacrificial layer method for the manufacturing of microfluidic devices in polyimide and SU-8. The technique uses heat-depolymerizable polycarbonates embedded in polyimide or SU-8 for the generation of microchannels and sealed cavities. The volatile decomposition products originating from thermolysis of the sacrificial material escape out of the embedding material by diffusion through the cover layer. The fabrication process was studied experimentally and theoretically with a focus on the decomposition of the sacrificial materials and their diffusion through the polyimide or SU-8 cover layer. It is demonstrated that the sacrificial material removal process is independent of the actual channel geometry and advances linearly with time unlike conventional sacrificial layer techniques. The fabrication method provides a versatile and fast technique for the manufacturing of microfluidic devices for applications in the field of muTAS and Lab-on-a-Chip.