Laser stenciling: a low-cost high-resolution CO2 laser micromachining method
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A novel laser micromachining method is presented that utilizes a microfabricated silicon stencil and a CO 2 laser for low-cost high-resolution machining of polymer substrates. With this laser stenciling method, arrays of microchannels and microholes were patterned in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and Kapton films. Minimum recorded feature sizes patterned in these films were 8.4 and 12.6 m, respectively, using a stencil opening of 25 m. Different stencil sidewall configurations were investigated to determine the effect of such topographies on the resulting polymer patterns. An example multi-layer microfluidic device, comprised of PDMS layers with stenciled features, is presented to demonstrate the direct, single-step polymer microfluidic channel fabrication capability of this technique. The method presented here is suitable for low-cost and medium-volume rapid polymer microdevice production while overcoming the low-resolution limit of CO 2 laser micromachining. 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.