Solution-Phase Functionalization of Glass-Based Substrates with Chloro-Methyl Silanes

Solution-Phase Functionalization of Glass-Based Substrates with Chloro-Methyl Silanes

Docket: UAH-P-16023


Microfluidics is a multidisciplinary study of fluid flow in channels that have dimensions on the order of microns or less. Glass is broadly utilized as a microfluidic material due to its high transparency, low autofluorescence, chemical resistance, and suitable thermal and electrical properties. The process to create a microfluidic device involves steps to thoroughly clean the glass, etch channels in it, and properly functionalize its surface. Existing compounds for the functionalization step feature long-chain silanes that do not work best in electroosmotic flow (EOF) applications, because they significantly alter flow characteristics.

Researchers at UAH have determined that a class of short-chain silane compounds are well-suited to overcome the limitations of existing long-chain silane coatings. The compounds are applied in a one-pot method at room temperature in liquid solution. The hydrophobicity of the glass can be tailored by controlling the deposition conditions. They have defined the fundamentals of the surface reaction chemistry on a range of glass-based substrates. They have also demonstrated the utility of the procedures for applications in microfluidics, especially in systems for EOF.


  • EOF-driven microfluidics
  • Lab-on-a-chip
  • DNA chips


  • One-pot, room temperature, solution- phase functionalization of glass-based substrates
  • Surfaces easily tailored to a specific hydrophobicity
  • Inert to a wide range of surface reaction chemistries
  • Insignificant changes in surface topography


  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary