The fabrication of traditional micro/nano devices requires access to cleanrooms, complex and expensive tools, and highly-skilled labor. A facile and digital do-it-yourself (DIY) technique for the fabrication of low-cost devices on flexible substrates (paper, cloth, and plastic films) is presented in this work. A set of office-grade equipment (i.e., laserjet printer, thermal laminator, computer-aided paper cutter), and commercially available supplies (i.e., baking wax paper, furniture restoration metal-leaf) are utilized. The presented technology enables community-embedded production by removing a high technological barrier. The validity of the proposed technology was proved by designing three levels of experiments, i.e., patterns, devices, and systems. The performance was evaluated at each level to cover various application domains in environmental monitoring and biomedical diagnostics utilizing conductometric, colorimetric, biochemical, and chemoresistive detection principles. Devices with features of varying sizes, from nanometers to centimeters, were fabricated and characterized. Expanding the concept further, a copper oxide (CuO) nano-sorbent cloth-based filter was designed, fabricated, and tested to demonstrate the application in the fabrication of a water filtration system. An inexpensive and robust filtration system for real-time arsenic removal from polluted water, which could easily be embedded into the existing water pipes, showed the effective removal rate without requiring any power source for operation. To demonstrate the pervasiveness of the laserjet printing-based fabrication, a novel print-and-release method to produce color-tagged microplastics was presented. A lack of reliable methods to replicate the microplastic samples is one of the main challenges in the design of experiments for systematic studies. The newly developed fabrication techniques in this work provide an alternative route to decentralized production of low-cost flexible sensors and functional devices, with minimal steps, time, cost, and facilities. The operation of such devices is simple and can be further empowered by ubiquitous smartphones for data analysis and transmission.
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Cho, Hyoung Jin
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Bamshad, Arshya, "Decentralized Digital Fabrication of Flexible Micro/Nano Devices Using a Laserjet Printer" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1510.