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Keywords:

  • microcantilever;
  • polymer;
  • injection molding;
  • ultraviolet;
  • ozone;
  • degradation;
  • polypropylene

Abstract

Ultraviolet-ozone treatment is used as a standard surface cleaning procedure for removal of molecular organic contamination from analytical and sensing devices. Here, it is applied for injection-molded polymer microcantilevers before characterization and sensing experiments. This article examines the effects of the surface cleaning process using commercial equipment, in particular on the performance and mechanical properties of the cantilevers. It can be shown that the first chemical aging process essentially consist of the cross linking of the polymer chains together with a physical aging of the material. For longer exposure, the expected thermo-oxidative formation of carbonyl groups sets in and an exposure dependent chemical degradation can be detected. A process time of 20 min was found suitable as a trade-off between cleaning and stability. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013