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Fabrication of Microfluidic Structures by Automated Laser Ablation and Automation of Optical Testing


Walker, Christopher (2010) Fabrication of Microfluidic Structures by Automated Laser Ablation and Automation of Optical Testing. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/PEET-AM61.


A versatile, semi-automated instrument to fabricate embedded devices by laser ablation was designed, built, and tested. The expertise required for this came partially from the development of an optical testing system. This system and its utility in testing silicon on oxide waveguide structures are briefly explored. Processes for reproducibly fabricating microfluidic channels and vias were developed. Using one of these processes, design rules for more complex features were developed, and fully three dimensional structures realized. The phenomenon of nonlinear fluidic resistance in deformable channels was explored; a simple analytical model was designed, and compared favorably to measured data. Finally, using this effect, fully embedded valves were developed. With the combination of large scale accurate feature placement, a developed process for three dimensional features, and the development of valves, this instrument is capable of fabricating complex systems of devices, and should prove a useful tool in the future.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:laser; ablation; PDMS; microfluidic; polydimethylsiloxane
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Scherer, Axel
Thesis Committee:
  • Scherer, Axel (chair)
  • Yang, Changhuei
  • Bridges, William B.
  • Kartalov, Emil P.
Defense Date:1 June 2010
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06072010-060526366
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5921
Deposited By: Christopher Walker
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 15:52
Last Modified:08 Nov 2019 18:11

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