Assistant Professor/Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
There is growing interest in using Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for MEMS applications. PDMS is an inexpensive, mechanically robust, chemically inert, and optically transparent (~ 92% transmission for visible light) organic material. PDMS-based microstructues are typically fabricated using soft lithography, which is a low-cost, non-photolithographic technique based on self-assembly and replica molding, and widely used in a number of microfluidics and micro optics applications. This seminar talk discusses new approaches to design and fabrication of PDMS-based MEMS devices. The discussion introduces our new microfabrication technique, which is named the "soft-lithographic lift-off and grafting (SLLOG)" process. The SLLOG process allows us to integrate three-dimensional PDMS microstructures onto a silicon-based MEMS device. A PDMS/Silicon hybrid actuator is presented as an example of devices that can be fabricated using the SLLOG process. It is shown that the integration of PDMS microstructures can increase MEMS performance and functionality, taking advantage of the material properties unique to PDMS. Integrated with CMOS circuits and silicon-based sensors/actuators, PDMS-on-Silicon microsystems may find a wide variety of applications, including biological assays and three-dimensional optical scanners.
Katsuo Kurabayashi received his BS degree from the University of Tokyo, Japan, and his MS/PhD from Stanford University, CA. He has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan since the January of 2000 where he is currently Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research group studies MEMS actuator design and fabrication, multi-physics electrothermal transport in RF MEMS, and biomolecular nanotechnology for micro power devices, funded by NSF, CIA, and DARPA. He is a recipient of the 2001 NSF CAREER Award.