Rapid Laser Manufacturing of Microfluidic Devices from Glass Substrates

Krystian Lukasz Wlodarczyk, Richard M. Carter, Amir Jahanbakhsh, Amiel A. Lopes, Mark Donald Mackenzie, Robert Raimund Josef Maier, Duncan Paul Hand, M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
111 Downloads (Pure)


Conventional manufacturing of microfluidic devices from glass substrates is a complex, multi-step process that involves different fabrication techniques and tools. Hence, it is time-consuming and expensive, in particular for the prototyping of microfluidic devices in low quantities. This article describes a laser-based process that enables the rapid manufacturing of enclosed micro-structures by laser micromachining and microwelding of two 1.1-mm-thick borosilicate glass plates. The fabrication process was carried out only with a picosecond laser (Trumpf TruMicro 5×50) that was used for: (a) the generation of microfluidic patterns on glass, (b) the drilling of inlet/outlet ports into the material, and (c) the bonding of two glass plates together in order to enclose the laser-generated microstructures. Using this manufacturing approach, a fully-functional microfluidic device can be fabricated in less than two hours. Initial fluid flow experiments proved that the laser-generated microstructures are completely sealed; thus, they show a potential use in many industrial and scientific areas. This includes geological and petroleum engineering research, where such microfluidic devices can be used to investigate single-phase and multi-phase flow of various fluids (such as brine, oil, and CO2) in porous media.
Original languageEnglish
Article number409
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2018


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