McClean: Flow Cells

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This protocol covers the soft lithography and plasma bonding steps used to make flow cells out of PDMS in our lab. This protocol assumes that you are starting with a silicon wafer mask that already has your desired pattern on it. We make out own masks in the [Princeton Microfluidics Laboratory]


  • Slygard

• 4” petri dishes (for storing chips) • small ~6” pieces of the intramedic tubing (ID 0.86mm OD 1.27mm) • razor blades • Nitrile gloves • Biopsy Punches (1.2mm, 1.0mm, 0.75mm diameters) • Stainless steel blunt needle, 16 ½” gauge • Small green needle (21 ½ gauge Becton-Dickinson) • Pieces of scrap PDMS (in small petri dishes on your bench) • Cured PDMS, cut from molds (in 4” petri dishes, covered with tape) • Scotch tape • 1ml syringes with Luer-Lok tips • 4” petri dishes • 4” silicon wafers • SU8-20205 photoresist • SU8 developer (propylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate PGMEA) • Transparency Masks • Wafer Tweezers • Scotch tape • Scissors • Transparency Masks • Aluminum foil • Acetone • Cleanroom wipes (do not shed particles like paper towels or Kim wipes) • HMDS (hexamethyldisilazane) • 5” square glass plates with rounded edges • Lab coat • Hairnets • nitrile glocse • Cleanroom booties • Safety glasses • Sheet protectors for holding protocols • Cleanroom paper for taking notes • Timers • Slygard 184 Silicon Elastromer • Rough PDMS chips cut from molds • 1.5mm Coverslips • Oven set to 65°C (Microarray hybridization oven) • Scotch tape • Nitrile gloves • TMCS (chlorotrimethyl silane) • plastic forks for mixing PDMS • plastic beakers for mixing PDMS • Vacumn jar for degassing PDMS • Microfluidic chips constructed previously • Tubing • Microscopes • Fluoresceine solution in water • rhodamine solution in water • 15ml conical tubes • Syringes with tubing for injecting the chips. • 70% ethanol in a 50ml conical • Deionized water in a 50ml conical


Mixing the PDMS

Today you will start with your silicon wafer. Wear nitrile gloves, as oils from your hands can prevent the PDMS from curing and/or bonding properly. Please try to not drip PDMS everywhere. It is extremely hard to clean up.


Please feel free to post comments, questions, or improvements to this protocol. Happy to have your input!

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