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17 October 2003 Direct laser-assisted processing of polymers for microfluidic and micro-optical applications
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Proceedings Volume 4977, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics II; (2003)
Event: High-Power Lasers and Applications, 2003, San Jose, CA, United States
In the microscopic world the need of functional prototypes increases, e.g. as a precondition for a mould insert fabrication for micro-injection moulding. In this work the direct fabrication of prototypes made from polymers with an accuracy down to the micrometer range will be presented. For this purpose the direct patterning or modification of polymers with UV-laser radiation is performed for applications in fluidic and micro-optics. Different UV laser sources such as excimer and frequency-multiplied Nd:YAG were used. In the case of complex designs for fluidic applications it is powerful to use Nd:YAG laser radiation as patterning tool because of their high laser repetition rates: CAD data from complex fluidic designs were transmitted directly via CAM module into the polymeric surface. Because of the very small laser pulse duration of about 400-500 ps the thermal-induced damage during ablation decreases significantly. Process parameters, ablation rates and attainable surface qualities for capillary-electrophoreses chips will be presented. With the aid of a motorised aperture or a rotating mask system, excimer laser radiation is used to enable a well defined patterning of grooves with sharp edges and smooth sidewalls. The direct ablation of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), as well as the laser induced modification of the polymeric chemistry is used for the preparation of passive integrated-optical waveguides. Two types of concepts of waveguides are discussed: 1. Laser patterned grooves are filled with index matched materials which leads either to an increase or a decrease of the refractive index relative to pure PMMA. 2. Localised laser-induced polymer modification leads immediately to an integrated waveguide with higher refractive index. Both types of waveguides-concepts are characterised by their optical properties, which will be discussed in detail.
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Wilhelm Pfleging, Johannes Boehm, Steffi Finke, E. Gaganidze, Thomas Hanemann, Roland Heidinger, and Karsten Litfin "Direct laser-assisted processing of polymers for microfluidic and micro-optical applications", Proc. SPIE 4977, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics II, (17 October 2003);

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