The challenge of fabricating geometries with critical dimensions ranging from few microns down to 10 nanometers with high production rate is delaying the development of nanotechnology based products. Diverse research works have shown the capability of technologies such as UV lithography, nano imprint lithography and e-beam lithography to produce micro and nano features. However, their application for tooling purposes is relatively new and the potential to produce nanometer features with high volume low cost production is enormous. Considering possible implementation in a mass production environment the precision of measuring results and the accuracy of measurement relocation are very relevant. In this paper, the possibility of producing with high volume Lab-on-chip devices through injection molding are presented. Preparation of master geometries was made by etching a Si wafer by e-beam lithography. Subsequent nickel electroplating was employed to replicate the obtained geometries on the tool, which was used to mold on transparent polymer substrates the functional structures. To assess the critical factors affecting the replication quality throughout the different steps of the proposed process chain, test geometries were designed and produced on the side of the functional features. The so called “Finger Print” of the lithography and molding processes was qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated through scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy respectively. The entire process chain is therefore characterized and the degree of replication among the different replication steps quantified with precise measurements using a high accuracy relocation technique on the produced key test geometries.
Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Microfluidics, 2012