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May 31st, 2013
Laser welding for microfluidic devices prevents damage
The significance of microfluidics is growing due to the increasing number of analysis opportunities it opens up (think: "lab-on-a-chip").
The functional zone in a microfluidics device generally consists of two planar surfaces. A lower component has channels created by hot stamping, while an upper cover is placed on top to seal the channel structure. The channels in a microfluidic device are so fine that within it capillary forces dominate and gravitational forces are rendered irrelevant.
Creating a reliable, precise seam between the upper and lower layers is extremely important, and laser welding has established itself as the technology of choice for creating these joints. It is a clean process free of the type of debris, melt blow-out, and additives that can damage a device’s sensitive channels.
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