Micromachining of buried micro channels in silicon

Meint J. de Boer, Willem Tjerkstra, J. W. (Erwin) Berenschot, Henri V. Jansen, G.J. Burger, J.G.E. (Han) Gardeniers, Miko Elwenspoek, Albert van den Berg

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A new method for the fabrication of micro structures for fluidic applications, such as channels, cavities, and connector holes in the bulk of silicon wafers, called buried channel technology (BCT), is presented in this paper. The micro structures are constructed by trench etching, coating of the sidewalls of the trench, removal of the coating at the bottom of the trench, and etching into the bulk of the silicon substrate. The structures can be sealed by deposition of a suitable layer that closes the trench. BCT is a process that can be used to fabricate complete micro channels in a single wafer with only one lithographic mask and processing on one side of the water, without the need for assembly and bonding. The process leaves a substrate surface with little topography, which easily allows further processing, such as the integration of electronic circuits or solid-state sensors. The essential features of the technology, as well as design rules and feasible process schemes, will be demonstrated on examples from the field of μ-fluidics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-103
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of microelectromechanical systems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


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