The development of multilayer soft lithography methodology has seen polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) as the preferred material for the fabrication of microfluidic devices. However, the functionality of these PDMS microfluidic chips is often limited by the poor chemical resistance of PDMS to certain solvents. Here, we propose the use of a photocurable perfluoropolyether (PFPE), specifically FOMBLIN® MD40 PFPE, as a candidate material to provide a solvent-resistant buffer layer to make the device substantially impervious to chemically induced swelling. We first carried out a systematic study of the solvent resistance properties of FOMBLIN® MD40 PFPE as compared with PDMS. The comparison presented here demonstrates the superiority of FOMBLIN® MD40 PFPE over PDMS in this regard; moreover, the results permitted to categorize solvents in four different groups depending on their swelling ratio. We then present a step-by-step recipe for a novel fabrication process that uses multilayer lithography to construct a comprehensive solvent-resistant device with fluid and control channels integrated with a valve structure and also permitting easy establishment of outside connections.
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