PSTI Products: BioMEMS Design and Prototype Services
Please contact us for further information about how to purchase or license these technologies. OEM inquiries welcome.

DNA on Demand

Silicon Microarrays

Protein Crystallization

Silicon Microtiter Plates


Design Services and Prototype Construction


Parallel provides complete design and prototype construction for your micromachining and BioMEMS applications. Our unique and synergistic combination of micromachining, biotechnology MEMS application knowledge, biology, chemistry, mechanical engineering and materials science places us in a special position to provide rapid and cost effective solutions for a wide variety of problems and applications. Please use the information provided here to determine if micromachining and BioMEMS can address your application needs, then contact Parallel for totally confidential discussion of your needs.

When considering a micromachined solution for your application, the important initial questions are (a) is the process to prepare the device feasible? (b) are the feature size diminution, greatly increased machining accuracy and tolerance important to the function of the device? (c) can micromachining provide a cost effective solution (d) can the device be satisfactorily packaged or integrated into the current process?

Types of Structures and Functions Available from Silicon Micromachining

Referring to the various silicon micromachining techniques available, the following basic feature types can be fabricated:
· Holes: hole sizes depend on the substrate thickness but can range from a few microns to mm;
· Depressions, wells and pits: wall slopes and well shapes vary from vertical to round; shallow pits can be wet or dry etched; depth:width aspect ratios of >10 are possible under some conditions.
· Grooves and trenches: grooves with vertical or sloped sidewalls can be etched or machined. Dimensions range from microns to mm in width, depth and length
· Channels: bonding of a solid second wafer onto an array of grooves generates channels

· Membranes: Sections of the silicon wafer can be etched down to as low as 2-4 microns to create ultra thin membranes

Silicon, silicon microfabrication and the micromachining process have several inherent attributes and advantages that can be very important during the design process.

Micron size features
Provides accurate parts with size and tolerances far exceeding machine shop
Accuracy of feature size
Reproducible features; every part identical; precision fit for mechanical parts
Parallel fabrication
Price greatly diminishes with large volumes; some processes can be massively parallel
Rapid prototyping; often only photomask change needed for next prototype
Very short design/optimization cycles
Strength of silicon
Much stronger than steel so parts can be much smaller and maintain strength
Elastic properties of silicon
100% recovery from most stresses below breakage point
Hardness of silicon
Wear and scratch resistant; maintains initial dimensional parameters
SiO2 surface of silicon devices
Surface properties and surface modifications well studied
Surface smoothness as fabricated
Precise fit; no polishing required
Ease of complex feature fabrication
Very small and large features can be fabricated simultaneously
Chemical/oxidation resistance
Extremely good
Transparency to infrared radiation
IR spectroscopy applications

Incorporation of BioMEMS and Micromachining into the Device

Combining the basic etching and fabrication techniques discussed above with other silicon fabrication technologies and high precision traditional machining, the micromachined parts can be incorporated the device for the final application.

After examination of the types of structures and devices that can be prepared via perusal of this website, please contact Parallel to discuss the application of micromachining to your biotechnology, sensing, fluid handling and printing applications.