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Flexible Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Multi-Layered Structures

We develop a method for the fabrication of embedded microchannels based on a scanning laser direct-write technique. It allows for the manufacture of embedded microchannels with various heights in a single layered polymer. This method offers enormous flexibility, and the fabrication process is extremely versatile—an apparatus has been built for the alignment of multiple exposures, enabling the manufacture of large numbers of complex microstructures and microdevices. This technique presents environmental benefits as it does not involve any toxic chemicals, nor does it produce any toxic gases. Furthermore, it also greatly simplifies the fabrication processes, potentially reducing the design-to-fabrication turnaround time to hours or less. Using this laser direct-write technique, various 3D microstructures can be fabricated and applied to many fields. The second part of this research focuses on the underlying theory and method to determine Young's modulus of exposed polymers by using a laser acoustic microscopy system. Young’s moduli of polymer microbeams generated with different exposure doses are studied by using a laser-based ultrasonic technique. This technique offers a non-contact, non-destructive means of evaluation and material characterization.

Representative Publications (#denotes graduate students/postdocs supervised by X. Zhang; *denotes corresponding author by X. Zhang; +denotes contributed equally.)

H. Yu#, O. Balogun, B. Li, T.W. Murray, and X. Zhang*, "Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Microstructures Based on Singled-Layered SU-8 for Lab-on-Chip Applications," Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 2006, 127(2): 228-234. [DOI]

H. Yu#, B. Li, and X. Zhang*, "Flexible Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Multi-Layered Microstructures Using a Scanning Laser System," Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 2006, 125(2): 553-564. [DOI]

H. Yu#, O. Balogun, B. Li, T.W. Murray, and X. Zhang*, "Building Embedded Microchannels Using a Single Layered SU-8, and Determining Young's Modulus Using a Laser Acoustic Technique," Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 2004, 14(11): 1576-1584. [DOI]

B. Li, H. Yu#, A. Sharon, and X. Zhang, "Rapid Three-Dimensional Manufacturing of Microfluidic Structures Using a Scanning Laser System," Applied Physics Letters, 2004, 85(12): 2426-2428. [DOI]

Ph.D. Dissertation

Hui Yu, "Flexible Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Multi-Layered Microstructures Using a Scanning Laser System," Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston University. (Advisor: Xin Zhang; May 2006)

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