2016 Volume 32 Issue 1 Pages 85-92
Here, we introduce a simple and facile technique for fabricating microfluidic optical cells by utilizing a micropatterned polymer mold, followed by imprinting on thermoplastic substrates. This process has reduced the surface roughness of the microchannel, making it suitable for microscale optical measurements. The micropatterned polymer mold was fabricated by first micromilling on a poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) substrate, and then transferring the micropattern onto an ultraviolet (UV)-curable optical adhesive. After an anti-adhesion treatment of the polymer mold fabricated using the UV-curable optical adhesive, the polymer mold was used repeatedly for imprinting onto various thermoplastics, such as PMMA, polycarbonate (PC), and poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET). The roughness values for the PMMA, PC, and PET microchannels were approximately 11.3, 20.3, and 14.2 nm, respectively, as compared to those obtained by micromilling alone, which were 15.9, 76.8, and 207.5 nm, respectively. Using the imprint-molded thermoplastic optical cell, rhodamine B and copper ions were successfully quantified. The reduced roughness of the microchannel surface resulted in improved sensitivity and reduced noise, paving the way for integration of the detection module so as to realize totally integrated microdevices.