Construction of microfluidic chips using polydimethylsiloxane for adhesive bonding†
A thin layer of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) prepolymer, which is coated on a glass slide, is transferred onto the embossed area surfaces of a patterned substrate. This coated substrate is brought into contact with a flat plate, and the two structures are permanently bonded to form a sealed fluidic system by thermocuring (60 °C for 30 min) the prepolymer. The PDMS exists only at the contact area of the two surfaces with a negligible portion exposed to the microfluidic channel. This method is demonstrated by bonding microfluidic channels of two representative soft materials (PDMS substrate on a PDMS plate), and two representative hard materials (glass substrate on a glass plate). The effects of the adhesive layer on the electroosmotic flow (EOF) in glass channels are calculated and compared with the experimental results of a CE separation. For a channel with a size of approximately 10 to 500 µm, a ∼200–500 nm thick adhesive layer creates a bond without voids or excess material and has little effect on the EOF rate. The major advantages of this bonding method are its generality and its ease of use.