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Glass processing for life science applications

Laser Induced Deep Etching (LIDE)
is a digital high throughput manufacturing
technology for glass arrays with highest quality

Laser Induced Deep Etching (LIDE)

High-aspect ratio microfeatures in glass for bio-applications

Glass is one of the best suited materials for life science applications. It is not only transparent and allows for high quality microscopy, but it is also chemically inert and has almost no impact on your experiment. Additionally, there is a whole variety of surface modifications available to easily alter the wetting properties or to introduce anchor molecules to bind DNA, proteins or antibodies.

However, regarding micromanufacturing methods there was a lack of economical techniques that introduced microfeatures into glass with highest precision in combination with high thoughput.

What is LIDE?

LIDE stands for laser induced deep etching:

LIDE technology is a two-step process. It is characterized by the ability to create deep structures in thin glass with a high aspect ratio in the range of >1:10 at a highly-economical and groundbreaking processing speed. Structures as small as <5 μm can be created. Due to the precision of the LIDE process, picoliter well arrays (picowells), nanoliter well arrays (nanowells) as well as larger microliter well arrays (microwells) can be manufactured with the highest accuracy.

Step 1:

In the first step, the glass is locally modified by laser pulses according to the desired layout. In LIDE, a single laser pulse is sufficient to modify glass substrates through their entire thickness, making it compatible with high-volume production.

Step 2:

In the second process step, the modified areas of the glass are removed by wet chemical etching much more rapidly than the unmodified material.

LIDE technology also makes it possible to introduce modifications into glass in a way that allows the cutting out of features in almost any shape and size.

With these characteristics, LIDE glass processing can be considered to be one of the most versatile techniques for the production of high quality microfluidic devices, bio-chips and arrays.

Some of the shapes that can be produced with LIDE are depicted below. Just contact us for an individual consultation of what is possible with LIDE in the field of microfluidic devices for biomedical and life science applications.

 Outstanding characteristics of LIDE technology

LIDE technology exhibits exceptional properties, rendering it a real breakthrough in microfluidic production.
Micro Features

Features of 5 µm or larger can be created by LIDE technology. These can be wells, channels or cutouts with any arbitrary shape.

High Aspect Ratios

Typical aspect ratios of LIDE-generated micro-features are in the range of 1:10, but under certain conditions they can also be as high as 1:50.

Side Wall Micro-Holes

The side walls of LIDE-generated micro-holes are smooth, crack-free, chip-free and stress-free. Depending on the application's needs the shape of the side wall can be hour-glass shaped or V-shaped. The taper angle is between 0.1° and 30°.

Glass Type

LIDE does not rely on special glass. The technology is compatible with all commercially-available silicate-based glass types from different vendors.

Break Strength

LIDE technology is free of micro-cracks, chipping, induced stresses and the like. LIDE processing of glass does not diminish the good mechanical properties of glass, as seen in state-of-the-art glass-processing technologies.