12 April 2005 Laser-assisted welding of transparent polymers for microchemical engineering and life science
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Abstract
In this contribution experimental studies on the laser-assisted welding of transparent polymers with diode laser (wavelength 940 nm) are presented to discuss their potential for the fabrication of micro-devices for micro-chemical engineering and life science. Micro-channel devices such as capillary electrophoresis chips, heat exchangers or static mixers for liquids and gases consist of different micro-patterned sheets with structural details in the range of a few μm. In micro-chemical engineering, in general the sheets of micro-devices are made of metals. In our approaches the use of transparent and micro-patterned polymers such as polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) is investigated. For the development of micro-devices in life science the use of sheets made of transparent polymers such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is presented, e.g., in capillary electrophoresis chips. Devices are built up by stacks of micro-patterned sheets which have to be joined. These sheets are patterned by micro-milling, CO2-laser cutting or hot embossing. Laser-assisted polymer welding of transparent and opaque materials is well established. But the welding of only transparent components is still a challenge in micro-system technology, especially if micro-structures are included. For this purpose very thin absorbing layers with a thickness of about 5nm to 20nm are used in order to establish a welding process between transparent and micro-patterned polymers. The strength of the bonding is characterized by tensile tests as function of absorbing layer thickness, temperature, laser scan velocity and laser scan overlap. The topography is investigated with atomic force microscopy and low voltage scanning electron microscopy.
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Wilhelm Pfleging, Oliver Baldus, M. Bruns, Alessandro Baldini, Edoardo Bemporad, "Laser-assisted welding of transparent polymers for microchemical engineering and life science", Proc. SPIE 5713, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics IV, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.589830; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.589830
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