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Method for producing microchannels having circular cross-sections in glass

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A process for micromachining capillaries was having circular cross-sections in glass substrates. Microchannels are isotropically etched into a flat glass substrate, resulting in a semi-circular half-channel (or a rectangle with rounded corners). A second flat glass substrate is then fusion bonded to the first substrate, producing sealed microchannels with rounded bottom corners and a flat top surface having sharp corners. The process is completed by annealing at a sufficiently high temperature (approximately 750 C.) to allow surface tension forces and diffusional effects to lower the over-all energy of the microchannels by transforming the cross-section to a circular shape. The process can be used to form microchannels with circular cross-sections by etching channels into a glass substrate, then anodically bonding to a silicon wafer and annealing. The process will work with other materials such as polymers.
Krulevitch, Peter (Pleasanton, CA), Hamilton, Julie K. (Tracy, CA), Ackler, Harold D. (Sunnyvale, CA)
The Regents of the University of California
09/ 851,231
May 7, 2001
[0001] The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.