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Soft Microreactors for the Deposition of Microstructures and the Related Surface Chemistries of Polymeric Materials

Jessica R Wagner, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The precise control over small volumes of liquids is of great interest to various fields such as biotechnology, drug development, and diagnostics. Working at small scales reduces cost, time, and waste, which is why microfluidic lab – on – chip technologies have become popular in a wide range of industries and applications. Additionally, there are differences in properties such as mass transport and heat dissipation at the micron scale compared to in bulk. Microfluidic devices contain several interfaces to consider when preparing to fabricate devices. The substrate/device, substrate/solution, and solution/device interfaces are all of importance and must carefully be tuned depending on the desired applications. Traditional microfluidics use surface chemistry to bond the device covalently and irreversibly to the substrate. While this may be ideal for several applications, this method eliminates the further use of the underlying substrate which is necessary when used as microfluidic reactors.The use of soft, resealable microfluidic reactors enables continued use of the substrate. In this thesis we describe how microfluidics have been expanded beyond traditional methods and their uses and applications in various fields. This includes soft microreactors for (i) data collection and sampling, (ii) deposition of conductive metals, and (iii) deposition of semi – conducting materials. In addition, we discuss the surface chemistry modification of polymeric substrates. Different surface chemistry treatments are employed based on the desired applications. We also demonstrate modification for strong adhesion of deposited materials and surface microfluidics. The projects herein have impact in broad application spaces such as analysis, circuits, and diagnostics.

Subject Area

Chemistry|Materials science|Polymer chemistry

Recommended Citation

Wagner, Jessica R, "Soft Microreactors for the Deposition of Microstructures and the Related Surface Chemistries of Polymeric Materials" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30813673.