UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Toward the fabrication and testing of all-polymer micronozzle Abdollahzadeh, Delaram


A disposable all-polymer micronozzle was designed and fabricated by merging the two different technologies of microfluidics and microneedles together. Polymer micronozzles (polyimide and SU-8) were fabricated using different steps of spin casting and one step of photolithography. Microfluidic devices consisting of one input channel and one output channel each with a 500µm diameter, and connected with a channel 100µm in width, were fabricated using the PDMS polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) casting. To achieve a thin PDMS membrane, spin casting of PDMS over the mold is required. The fabricated thin PDMS microfluidic layers were bonded to polymer nozzles using oxygen plasma treatment and precisely aligning the two layers together. The resulting polymer nozzles were connected to the pressure system of a custom made inkjet printer, by the means of a plastic holder device. The holder device was designed in SolidWorks and printed using a 3D printer. Finally a solenoid actuator was attached to the setup. Different solenoid plunger tips were designed to maximize the deformation of the PDMS membrane which is used to attempt liquid ejection and printing. First the internal pressure was tuned. The effect of frequency, duty cycle and input voltage of the solenoids input pulse on the created pending droplet’s volume was characterized experimentally. The maximum displaced volume was found with actuation for a 12V input pulse with 10% duty cycle. For a 50µm nozzle diameter this volume is 4.78×10⁻¹¹ L and for a 200µm it is 3.83×10⁻¹ºL. Reducing the surface tension of water using surfactant resulted in flow of ink onto the hydrophilic plasma-treated SU-8 surface, and total surface wetting.

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