UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Characterization and Integration of Terahertz Technology within Microfluidic Platforms Alfihed, Salman; Bergen, Mark; Ciocoiu, Antonia; Holzman, Jonathan; Foulds, Ian G.


In this work, the prospects of integrating terahertz (THz) time-domain spectroscopy (TDS) within polymer-based microfluidic platforms are investigated. The work considers platforms based upon the polar polymers polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polycarbonate (PC), polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA), polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and the nonpolar polymers fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), polystyrene (PS), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). The THz absorption coefficients for these polymers are measured. Two microfluidic platforms are then designed, fabricated, and tested, with one being based upon PET, as a representative high-loss polar polymer, and one being based upon UHMWPE, as a representative low-loss nonpolar polymer. It is shown that the UHMWPE microfluidic platform yields reliable measurements of THz absorption coefficients up to a frequency of 1.75 THz, in contrast to the PET microfluidic platform, which functions only up to 1.38 THz. The distinction seen here is attributed to the differing levels of THz absorption and the manifestation of differing f for the systems. Such findings can play an important role in the future integration of THz technology and polymer-based microfluidic systems.

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