Maskless, rapid manufacturing of glass microfluidic devices using a picosecond pulsed laser

Krystian Lukasz Wlodarczyk, Duncan Paul Hand, M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Conventional manufacturing of glass microfluidic devices is a complex, multi-step process that involves a combination of different fabrication techniques, typically photolithography, chemical/dry etching and thermal/anodic bonding. As a result, the process is time-consuming and expensive, in particular when developing microfluidic prototypes or even manufacturing them in low quantity. This report describes a fabrication technique in which a picosecond pulsed laser system is the only tool required to manufacture a microfluidic device from transparent glass substrates. The laser system is used for the generation of microfluidic patterns directly on glass, the drilling of inlet/outlet ports in glass covers, and the bonding of two glass plates together in order to enclose the laser-generated patterns from the top. This method enables the manufacturing of a fully-functional microfluidic device in a few hours, without using any projection masks, dangerous chemicals, and additional expensive tools, e.g., a mask writer or bonding machine. The method allows the fabrication of various types of microfluidic devices, e.g., Hele-Shaw cells and microfluidics comprising complex patterns resembling up-scaled cross-sections of realistic rock samples, suitable for the investigation of CO2 storage, water remediation and hydrocarbon recovery processes. The method also provides a route for embedding small 3D objects inside these devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20215
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2019


  • Microfluidic Devices
  • Glass
  • Ultrafast lasers
  • Ultrashort Pulsed Laser
  • Laser Manufacturing
  • Picosecond laser
  • Picosecond laser ablation
  • Laser microwelding
  • Laser micromachining
  • Laser fabrication
  • Porous media
  • Micromodels
  • CO2 sequestration
  • CO2 storage
  • Maskless manufacturing
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
  • Rapid manufacturing


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