The ATMC will use Hyphenated Systems’ 3Dmap™ to characterize the subsurface 3D structure of microfluidic devices created with its laser-ablation-based micromachining technology.
Hyphenated-Systems’ 3Dmap (Microfluidics Analysis Platform) uses advanced confocal microscopy to visualize and measure 3D structures with sub-micron resolution.
ATMC’s laser ablation technology is designed to permit the rapid fabrication of complex structures not easily created with more conventional micro-lithography techniques.
Hyphenated-Systems’ 3Dmap allows engineers to visualize and measure these structures, and the flow of fluids through them, with sub-micron spatial resolution.
The combination of direct laser machining and advanced confocal analysis allows ATMC to fabricate fully characterized prototypes in hours.
"3Dmap provides us with rapid characterization capability that is essential for our microfluidic development projects," said Dr. Lamar Bullock, Manager of the ATMC Photonics Laboratory.
"The structures we create can be quite complex and are almost entirely below the surface of the substrate material. They often include irregular shapes and surfaces that are difficult to measure with other techniques."
"3Dmap’s advanced confocal technology is uniquely capable for our applications-and it is fast-both of which are important to our success."
3Dmap’s advanced confocal technology retains the 3D imaging capability of scanned confocal microscopy techniques, but by simultaneously acquiring and analyzing multiple data streams, it offers significant improvements in imaging and analysis speed.
With its ability to measure rough or sloped surfaces at arbitrary depths below the substrate surface, confocal microscopy offers capability required for microfluidic structures. This is particularly true of the direct laser machining technique used by ATMC.
Unlike lithographic approaches, in which structure is created by 2D patterns within sequentially deposited, predefined layers, direct machining creates structures having arbitrary shape and depth within the substrate.
"ATMC is the only university laboratory offering direct machining of microfluidic devices," said Terence Lundy, Vice President and General Manager, Hyphenated-Systems.
"This is a unique opportunity for us to understand this technology and its capabilities, and the broader needs of the microfluidics community for metrology tools."
"The feedback we receive from collaborative projects like these is critical to the advancement of our products."