Solvent immersion imprint lithography
A high-performance, semi-automated procedure
We expand upon our recent, fundamental report on solvent immersion imprint lithography (SIIL) and describe a semi-automated and high-performance procedure for prototyping polymer microfluidics and optofluidics. The SIIL procedure minimizes manual intervention through a cost-effective (∼$200) and easy-to-assemble apparatus. We analyze the procedure's performance specifically for Poly (methyl methacrylate) microsystems and report repeatable polymer imprinting, bonding, and 3D functionalization in less than 5 min, down to 8 μm resolutions and 1:1 aspect ratios. In comparison to commercial approaches, the modified SIIL procedure enables substantial cost reductions, a 100-fold reduction in imprinting force requirements, as well as a more than 10-fold increase in bonding strength. We attribute these advantages to the directed polymer dissolution that strictly localizes at the polymer-solvent interface, as uniquely offered by SIIL. The described procedure opens new desktop prototyping opportunities, particularly for non-expert users performing live-cell imaging, flow-through catalysis, and on-chip gas detection.