Integration of lateral porous silicon membranes into planar microfluidics
In this work, we present a novel fabrication process that enables the monolithic integration of lateral porous silicon membranes into single-layer planar microchannels. This fabrication technique relies on the patterning of local electrodes to guide pore formation horizontally within the membrane and on the use of silicon-on-insulator substrates to spatially localize porous silicon within the channel depth. The feasibility of our approach is studied by current flow analysis using the finite element method and supported by creating 10 μm long mesoporous membranes within 20 μm deep microchannels. The fabricated membranes are demonstrated to be potentially useful for dead-end microfiltration by adequately retaining 300 nm diameter beads while macromolecules such as single-stranded DNA and immunoglobulin G permeate the membrane. The experimentally determined fluidic resistance is in accordance with the theoretical value expected from the estimated pore size and porosity. The work presented here is expected to greatly simplify the integration of membranes capable of size exclusion based separation into fluidic devices and opens doors to the use of porous silicon in planar lab on a chip devices.