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Accueil > Publications > 2016

Investigation of the dynamics of growth of polymer materials obtained by combined pervaporation and micro-moulding

par Salmon Jean-Baptiste - publié le , mis à jour le

We report an extensive study of the concentration process of aqueous polymer solutions confined within
microfluidic channels, owing to the pervaporation of water through the matrix of the chip. Concentration
of polymer continuously increases up to the formation of a dense material which eventually invades the
channel. This technology can be used to fabricate micro-composites of different shapes starting from
dilute inks. We use both theory and screening experiments to show that the dynamics of growth can be
predicted by simple conservation equations. More precisely, we establish a quantitative prediction of the
growth dynamics taking into account deformations of the soft channels of the moulds, and the solvent
chemical activity of the polymer solution. The present results based on general transport equations for
binary mixtures provide direct guidance for the design of micro-fabricated materials considering their
shape, dimensions, time scale of fabrication, and chemical composition. This quantitative framework is
indeed essential to engineer integrated polymer-based micro-devices by using combined pervaporation
and microfluidic moulding.

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