Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Trinkle

Abstract

Rapid creation of devices with microscale features is a vital step in the commercialization of a wide variety of technologies, such as microfluidics, fuel cells and self-healing materials. The current standard for creating many of these microstructured devices utilizes the inexpensive, flexible material poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to replicate microstructured molds. This process is inexpensive and fast for small batches of devices, but lacks scalability and the ability to produce large surface-area materials. The novel fabrication process presented in this paper uses a cylindrical mold with microscale surface patterns to cure liquid PDMS prepolymer into continuous microstructured films. Results show that this process can create continuous sheets of micropatterned devices at a rate of 1.9 in2/sec (~1200 mm2/sec), almost an order of magnitude faster than soft lithography, while still retaining submicron patterning accuracy.

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