Fabrication and electroosmotic flow measurements in micro- and nanofluidic channels

Hug, Thomas ; Rooij, Nicolas ; Staufer, U.

In: Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 2006, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 117-124

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    An easy method for fabricating micro- and nanofluidic channels, entirely made of a thermally grown silicon dioxide is presented. The nanochannels are up to 1-mm long and have widths and heights down to 200nm, whereas the microfluidic channels are 20-μm wide and 4.8-μm high. The nanochannels are created at the interface of two silicon wafers. Their fabrication is based on the expansion of growing silicon dioxide and the corresponding reduction in channel cross-section. The embedded silicon dioxide channels were released and are partially freestanding. The transparent and hydrophilic silicon dioxide channel system could be spontaneously filled with aqueous, fluorescent solution. The electrical resistances of the micro- and nanofluidic channel segments were calculated and the found values were confirmed by current measurements. Electrical field strengths up to 600V/cm were reached within the nanochannels when applying a potential of only 10V. Electroosmotic flow (EOF) measurements through micro- and nanofluidic channel systems resulted in electroosmotic mobilities in the same order of those encountered in regular, fused silica capillaries