Hybrid UV laser direct writing of UV-curable PDMS thin film using aerosol jet printing
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Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is widely used for bio-medical, optical and microfluidic applications. Hence, PDMS layers on free-form surfaces on defined areas are needed. Conventional ways such as spin coating show drawbacks by long processing time and no sufficient application on free form surfaces. In this work, laser direct writing with UV-curable PDMS on a curved surface was performed. The coating technique using aerosol jet printing showed thin film thicknesses, compared to conventional spin coating techniques, obtaining controllable layer thickness down to 3.5 µm in 5 min on an area of 600 mm2 and on non-flat surfaces. Deposition rate control achieved layer thicknesses between 3.5 and 25.7 µm. The combination of material deposition and x–y galvanometric mirror scanner-based laser direct writing leads to a hybrid approach aiming for several applications in the fields of surface functionalization, and bio-medical and sensory applications. In addition, the procedure is able to overcome the batch-based PDMS processing and introduce the continuous flow-based application.
The authors would like to thank Shin-Etsu Silicones Europe B.V. for providing the PDMS sample. The authors also would like to thank Patrick Rößler for experimental support. This research was supported as part of joint research projects by “Projektbezogener Personenaustausch mit Japan” (DAAD-JSPS) Joint Research Program (Project No. 57245147). The authors acknowledge financial support in the frame of the 3D-PolySPRINT Project (BMBF FKZ 13N13567).
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