Tianhong Cui

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Ultra-Sensitive Electrochemical Micro Sensors for Detection of Water Pollutants Based on Shrink Polymer Manufacturing

Polymer shrinkage becomes a new approach to do lithography and generate smaller structures by reforming larger pre-patterned structures. The facile polymer fabrication approach by embossing and thermoplastic shrinkage aims to do lithography in a nanoscale or reduce the feature size and dramatically increase the aspect ratio of imprinted microstructures. The shrinkage capability of embossed microstructures is obtained by molding at low temperatures for less cycle time. Embossed patterns are activated for shrinkage by removing projected structures and heating at higher temperatures. The final structures are defined with the shape of removed materials before shrinking polymer materials. Both two- and three-dimensional embossed structures were successfully shrunk into much smaller scale. This polymer-shrinking process brings a new way to extend the fabrication capability of polymer embossing process towards MEMS-based sensors water pollutants detection.