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Lab Chip. 2008 Mar;8(3):402-7. doi: 10.1039/b716382g. Epub 2008 Jan 15.

Rapid sacrificial layer etching for the fabrication of nanochannels with integrated metal electrodes.

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  • 1BIOS, the Lab-on-a-chip Group, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.


We present a rapid etch method to surface-micromachine nanochannels with integrated noble metal electrodes using a single metal sacrificial layer. The method is based on the galvanic coupling of a chromium sacrificial layer with gold electrodes, which results in a 10-fold increase in etch rate with respect to conventional single metal etching. The etch process is investigated and characterized by optical and electrochemical measurements, leading to a theoretical explanation of the observed etch rate based on mass transport. Using this explanation we derive some generic design rules for nanochannel fabrication employing sacrificial metal etching.

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