Fabrication of a micropump based on the fast electrochemical actuator with the PDMS membrane

Experimental technique and devices

Microfluidic systems can deliver drugs to a human body in small accurate doses. For this purpose, they have to be equipped by a compact, energy-efficient and microtechnology-compatible pump. A recently proposed micropump based on the fast electrochemical actuator meets these requirements. It contains three actuators operating in a peristaltic manner. The first version of the pump was not completely functional due to the shortcomings of the fabrication process. In this work, we proposed a modified technological route. The flexible membranes of the actuators are made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) instead of SiNx, which increases the fabrication yield. The route includes the  formation of the PDMS membrane on a polyester film and two steps of bonding of the membrane to a photoresist SU-8, which are the most critical operations. Details of the fabrication process are reported and optimal bonding
conditions are found.