Fabrication of hollow polymer microstructures using dielectric and capillary forces

Catherine E. H. Tonry, Mayur K. Patel, Weixing Yu, Marc P. Y. Desmulliez, Christopher Bailey

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Electric Field Assisted Capillarity is a novel one-step process suitable for the fabrication of hollow polymer microstructures. The process, demonstrated to work experimentally on a microscale using Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), makes use of both the electrohydrodynamics of polymers subject to an applied voltage and the capillary force on the polymers caused by a low contact angle on a heavily wetted surface. Results of two-dimensional numerical simulations of the process are discussed in this paper for the special case of production of microfluidic channels. The paper investigates the effects of altering key parameters including the contact angle with the top mask, the polymer thickness and air gap, the permittivity of the polymer, the applied voltage and geometrical variations on the final morphology of the microstructure. The results from these simulations demonstrate that the capillary force caused by the contact angle has the greatest effect on the final shape of the polymer microstructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301–308
Number of pages8
JournalMicrosystem Technologies
Early online date27 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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