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Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) belongs to a group of polymeric organo-silicon compounds that are commonly referred to as silicones. PDMS is non-toxic, optically clear, bio compatible, flexible and chemically stable. The PDMS chemical structure can be represented as:

PDMS can be synthesized with a variety of end groups suitable for a wide variety of applications. The PDMS used in soft lithography, in particular, is methyl group terminated. In addition the base polymer is available in different molecular weights and viscosities. LNF stocks Sylgard 184 (from Dupont Corp.) which has a viscosity in the 4000 - 6500 cSt.

Processing Equipment

PDMS is Processed in Solvent Bench 94. See Solvent Bench 94/Processes


Typically PDMS is etched with a mixture of O2 and a fluorine-containing gas such as SF6 or CF4.

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Surface Treatments

  • SiO2 Conversion - The surface of PDMS can be converted into an SiO2 like material by selectively etching the hydrocarbon with ozone.
  • PDMS-PDMS Adhesion - Oxygen plasma can improve the adhesion in PDMS-PDSM bonding

Process Notes

PDMS is usually patterned by molding or soft lithography. Its chemical innertness, makes it difficult to wet etch and dry etch. Usually the dry etch of PDMS yields rough surfaces and in most of the cases residue. Several pares have been written about a combination of dry and wet etching [1]

Technical Data Sheet

[Sylgard 184 Data Sheet]


Beyond Sylgard 184- Silicones for Stretchable Applications

How to mix PDMS