2008 Volume 2 Issue 4 Pages 560-569
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the important materials for microfluidic chips. The pattern of micro channels on the PDMS plate is usually fabricated through the photolithography and micro molding process. However, the photolithographic method requires multi chemical and mechanical processes and resultant long process time. The micro milling process is a feasible method for rapid fabrication of various patterns of micro channels. However, micromachining has not yet been applied to soft polymer materials. It is difficult to machine elastic materials such as PDMS because of their low toughness. In order to machine a micro grooves on soft polymer materials, the cutting process applying cryogenic cooling is proposed because the elastic properties of soft polymer materials remarkably change from rubbery state to glassy state below the glass transition temperature. In this study, the freezing milling method using liquid nitrogen is applied to the micro grooving of PDMS. The result of a cutting test shows that micro grooves can be shaped easily and machined accurately in PDMS by the proposed method.