Towards green 3D-microfabrication of Bio-MEMS devices using ADEX dry film photoresists

Current trends in miniaturized diagnostics indicate an increasing demand for large quantities of mobile devices for health monitoring and point-of-care diagnostics. This comes along with a need for rapid but preferably also green microfabrication. Dry film photoresists (DFPs) promise low-cost and greener microfabrication and can partly or fully replace conventional silicon-technologies being associated with high-energy demands and the intense use of toxic and climate-active chemicals. Due to their mechanical stability and superior film thickness homogeneity, DFPs outperform conventional spin-on photoresists, such as SU-8, especially when three-dimensional architectures are required for micro-analytical devices (e.g. microfluidics). In this study, we utilize the commercial epoxy-based DFP ADEX to demonstrate various application scenarios ranging from the direct modification of microcantilever beams via the assembly of microfluidic channels to lamination-free patterning of DFPs, which employs the DFP directly as a substrate material. Finally, kinked, bottom-up grown silicon nanowires were integrated in this manner as prospective ion-sensitive field-effect transistors in a bio-probe architecture directly on ADEX substrates. Hence, we have developed the required set of microfabrication protocols for such an assembly comprising metal thin film deposition, direct burn-in of lithography alignment markers, and polymer patterning on top of the DFP.


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