Advances in Fs-Laser Micromachining Towards the Development of Optofluidic Devices

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João Miguel Maia
Vítor Oliveira Amorim
Daniel Alexandre
Paulo Vicente Marques
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In this chapter the developments made in femtosecond laser micromachining for applications in the fields of optofluidics and lab-on-a-chip devices are reviewed. This technology can be applied to a wide range of materials (glasses, crystals, polymers) and relies on a non-linear absorption process that leads to a permanent alteration of the material structure. This modification can induce, for instance, a smooth variation of the refractive index or generate etching selectivity, which can be used to form integrated optical circuits and microfluidic systems, respectively. Unlike conventional techniques, fs-laser micromachining offers a way to produce high-resolution three-dimensional components and integrate them in a monolithic approach. Recent advances made in two-photon polymerization have also enabled combination of polymeric structures with microfluidic channels, which can provide additional functionalities, such as fluid transport control. In particular, here it is emphasised the integration of microfluidic systems with optical layers and polymeric structures for the fabrication of miniaturized hybrid devices for chemical synthesis and biosensing. © 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.