Liquid metal-based amalgamation-assisted lithography for fabrication of complex channels with diverse structures and configurations
Numerous lab-on-a-chip applications benefit from channels with complex structures and configurations in the areas of tissue engineering and clinical diagnostics. The current fabrication approaches require time-consuming, complicated processes and bulky, expensive facilities. In this work, we propose a novel method for the fabrication of complex channels with the assistance of amalgamation of liquid metal with copper tape. This new technique enables the rapid fabrication of liquid metal molds with various dimensions and diverse structures. Two proof-of-concept experiments were conducted to verify the utilization of this method. First, the channel replicated from the liquid metal mold is used to enhance the mixing performance of liquids flowing through the channel. Second, a channel with a semicircular cross-section is fabricated to achieve 3D focusing in a simple way. This proposed technique can be readily used for fabricating complex channels for a wide range of applications.