This paper describes the basic Direct Polymer Patterning On Substrate Technique (DPPOST) process and a modified process currently under development to provide higher robustness in the fabrication process, with the goal of achieving near 100% patterning yields. The patterning of soft-polymers and elastomers has gained interest in the last decade as the material of choice for lab-on-the chip applications; i.e., forming micro-fluidic and bio-reactor chambers. Recently, a lithographically compatible patterning method for soft-polymers and elastomers have been demonstrated by using SU-8® hard polymer resists as robust lift-off molds. This patterning technology, DPPOST, has the ability to form a wide range of structural features found in MEMS, from tens of millimeter structures to micrometer level resolutions. It has been used to embed nano-particles, such as carbon-black (∼45nm mean radius) and metal particles, and allows lithographic alignment of electrodes on micro-fluidic channels previously not possible with soft-lithography fabricated PDMS devices. The modified-DPPOST process uses conformal coating of Omnicoat™ nano-films to provide a barrier between the SU-8® and the patterned polymer, hence reducing stiction during the release process.

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