A new channel structure for microfluidic systems and process for fabricating this structure. In contrast to the conventional practice of fabricating fluid channels as trenches or grooves in a substrate, fluid channels are fabricated as thin walled raised structures on a substrate. Microfluidic devices produced in accordance with the invention are a hybrid assembly generally consisting of three layers: 1) a substrate that can or cannot be an electrical insulator; 2) a middle layer, that is an electrically conducting material and preferably silicon, forms the channel walls whose height defines the channel height, joined to and extending from the substrate; and 3) a top layer, joined to the top of the channels, that forms a cover for the channels. The channels can be defined by photolithographic techniques and are produced by etching away the material around the channel walls.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.