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Open AccessArticle

Micromanufacturing in Fused Silica via Femtosecond Laser Irradiation Followed by Gas-Phase Chemical Etching

1
Politecnico di Milano Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica ”Giulio Natta”, Via Luigi Mancinelli, 7, 20133 Milan, Italy
2
Politecnico di Milano Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie-CNR, Dipartimento di Fisica, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133 Milan, Italy
3
Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali, Via G. Giusti, 9, 50121 Firenze, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2012, 3(4), 604-614; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi3040604
Received: 6 August 2012 / Revised: 28 August 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 28 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glass Micromachining and Applications of Glass)
Femtosecond laser irradiation followed by chemical etching (FLICE) with hydrogen fluoride (HF) is an emerging technique for the fabrication of directly buried, three-dimensional microfluidic channels in silica. The procedure, as described in literature, consists of irradiating a silica slab followed by chemical etching using hydrogen fluoride. With aqueous HF the etching process is diffusion-limited and is self-terminating, leading to maximum microchannel lengths of about 1.5 mm, while the use of low-pressure gaseous HF etchant can quickly produce 3 mm long channels with an aspect ratio (Length/Diameter) higher than 25. By utilizing this methodology the aspect ratio is not constant, but depends on the length of the channel. When the microchannel is short the aspect ratio increases quickly until it reaches a maximum length at around 1400 µm. Thereafter the aspect ratio starts to decrease slowly. In this paper we present a variation of the low-pressure gaseous HF etching method, which is based on the dynamic displacement of the etchant. This method results in a 13% increase in the aspect ratio (L/D = 29) at the expense of a low etching speed (4 µm/min). View Full-Text
Keywords: laser micromachining; FLICE; silicon dioxide; selective etching; anhydrous hydrogen fluoride laser micromachining; FLICE; silicon dioxide; selective etching; anhydrous hydrogen fluoride
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Venturini, F.; Sansotera, M.; Vazquez, R.M.; Osellame, R.; Cerullo, G.; Navarrini, W. Micromanufacturing in Fused Silica via Femtosecond Laser Irradiation Followed by Gas-Phase Chemical Etching. Micromachines 2012, 3, 604-614.

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