Rapid Prototyping of Microstructures with Bell-Shaped Cross-Sections and Its Application to Deformation-Based Microfluidic Valves


  • This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the U.S. Army Research Office under contract/grant number DAAD19-03-1-0168, the NSF (BES-0238625), and the Engineering Technology Development Fund. We thank Dr. Brian Johnson and Prof. Mark Burns at the University of Michigan for use of their clean room facilities, and Prof. Mary-Ann Mycek and Prof. Michael Mayer for helpful discussions.


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Rapid prototyping of microchannels with bell-shaped (as opposed to rectangular) cross-sections (see Figure) is reported. These microchannels are ideal for deformation-based microfluidic valving using piezoelectric vertical actuator arrays in refreshable Braille displays. The fabrication method is based on diffused backlight exposure with a transilluminator and is cost and time efficient.