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J Chromatogr A. 2004 Jun 4;1038(1-2):239-45.

Vacuum-assisted thermal bonding of plastic capillary electrophoresis microchip imprinted with stainless steel template.

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  • 1Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 3 Datun Road, Beijing 100101, China.


An improved fabrication of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based capillary electrophoresis microchips has been demonstrated. The microchannel structures on PMMA substrates were generated by one-step hot embossing procedure using a stainless steel template. Hundreds of patterned PMMA substrates have been successfully obtained using the single metal template. Sequent microchannel enclosure with high yield up to 90% was accomplished by a vacuum-assisted thermal bonding method. The results of profilometric scanning of separated substrates showed the dimensions of the channels were well preserved during the bonding process. Finally, analytical functionalities of these PMMA microchips were demonstrated by performing fast electrophoretic separations and high sensitive end-column amperometric detections of dopamine and catechol. The entire fabrication methodology may also be useful for preparation of other thermoplastic microfluidic systems.

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