We demonstrate a new method for joining patterned thermoplastic parts into layered structures. The method takes advantage of case-II permeant diffusion to generate dimensionally controlled, activated bonding layers at the surfaces being joined. It is capable of producing bonds characterized by cohesive failure while preserving the fidelity of patterned features in the bonding surfaces. This approach is uniquely suited to production of microfluidic multilayer structures, as it allows the bond-forming interface between plastic parts to be precisely manipulated at micrometer length scales. The bond enhancing procedure is easily integrated in standard process flows and requires no specialized equipment.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The United States Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation.