The microfluidics market is expected to reach USD 27.91 Billion by 2023 from an estimated USD 10.06 Billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 22.6%, according to market analysis from "markets and markets". Plastic materials are the most used materials for fabrication of microfluidic devices.
Our group has full process chain for fabrication of plastic microfluidics. We aim to bridge laboratory research with mass production by solving critical manufacturing challenges for you.
Our commercialization activity can be found in our promotion website MiNanTechnologies ().
What We Can Do.
fabrication of micro/nano mould tools
We have three main tooling process development in our group:
Precision electroforming of nickel tools
Multi-scale tooling of bulk metallic glasses
Large-area nanostructured tools
Our research in tooling is focusing on understanding the fabrication process such as precision electroforming with requirements, such as high precision and high flatness, driven from applications, such as microfluidics. Fundamentals including ion transportation, residual stress building up, nanomaterial reinforcement and nanoscale electrodeposition are studied. The research includes:
Large-area, thick electroformed precision mould development
High-performance multi-scale tool development
Advanced application towards microfluidic and functional surfaces
We also develop bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) as platform materials to integrate multi-scale features, thanks to its amorphous nature. Nano feature of 80nm was patterned on BMGs and replicated on polymer without any problem.
Precision micro/nano forming processes
Material characterization and applications
Our large-area freeform nanostructured tools based on anodization of aluminium.
Submicron arrays mould made by BMG
Nickel moulds with 300um height inverted channels
Precision machined stainless steel mould with multi-step features from 80um to 500um
Nickel mould with inverted channel size 60 um
Nickel mould with minimum channel size 80micron, aspect ratio ~3
Large-area nanostructured aluminium mould
Microinjection moulding is one of the most used production process for fabrication of plastic micro/nano components with low cost, high efficiency and complex 3D geometry. Microinjection moulded products can be categorized into two group: miniature products and surface micro/nano structures.
Our research on micro component focuses on extreme processing on morphology and properties of micro components, which leads to an important understanding on flow-induced crystallization control of properties of micro components from both processing and materials. This is critically important for medical devices, such as microneedles and stents.
Our research on surface micro/nano structures focuses on development precision micro/nano mould tools and precision replication of micro/nanostructures and freeforms. From replication side, we are developing new processes for precision replications. Our existing moulding process includes:
-Variotherm assisted injection moulding
-In-mould micro compression
We aim to understand more on polymer replication process both feature design, process, materials and interfacial effects through experimental study and numerical simulation.
This will lead to novel process development for fabrication micro/nano structures for various applications, such as microfluidics, micro optics and functional surfaces.
Numerical simulation of microstructure replication for Microfluidic devices
Precision injection moulding of microfluidic
Microinjection moulding of miniature tensile specimen
Precision injection moulding of micro arrays and high aspect ratio features
Precision injection moulding of microfluidics
Microinjection moulding of sub 100nm structures
back-end process development
Our team is also working on back-end processes for fabrication of microfluidic devices. It includes precision bonding, electrode development, surface treatment of polymers and other processes specified with our microfluidic projects. For this area, the research will focus on manufacturing challenges:
High precision bonding mechanism study and process development
Surface modification of polymers for high reliability fabrication of plastic microfluidic