Photochemically patterned poly(methyl methacrylate) surfaces used in the fabrication of microanalytical devices

Document Type


Publication Date



We report here the photochemical surface modification of poly(methyl methacrylate), PMMA, microfluidic devices by UV light to yield pendant carboxylic acid surface moieties. Patterns of carboxylic acid sites can be formed from the micrometer to millimeter scale by exposure of PMMA through a contact mask, and the chemical patterns allow for further functionalization of PMMA microdevice surfaces to yield arrays or other structured architectures. Demonstrated here is the relationship between UV exposure time and PMMA surface wettability, topography, surface functional group density, and electroosmotic flow (EOF) of aqueous buffer solutions in microchannels made of PMMA. It is found that the water contact angle on PMMA surfaces decreases from 70° to 24° after exposure to UV light as the result of the formation of carboxylic acid sites. However, upon rinsing with 2-propanol, the water contact angle increases to approximately 80°, and this increase is attributed to changes in surface roughness resulting from removal of low molecular weight PMMA formed from scission events. In addition, the surface roughness and surface coverage of carboxylic acid groups exhibit a characteristic trend with UV exposure time. Electroosmotic flow (EOF) in PMMA microchannels increases upon UV modification and is pH dependent. The possible photolysis mechanism for formation of carboxylic acid groups on PMMA surfaces under the conditions outlined in this work is discussed. © 2005 American Chemical Society.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of Physical Chemistry B

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.