Synopses & Reviews
Microtechnology has changed our world since the last century, when silicon microelectronics revolutionized sensor, control and communication areas, with applications extending from domotics to automotive, and from security to biomedicine. The present century, however, is also seeing an accelerating pace of innovation in glassy materials; as an example, glass-ceramics, which successfully combine the properties of an amorphous matrix with those of micro- or nano-crystals, offer a very high flexibility of design to chemists, physicists and engineers, who can conceive and implement advanced microdevices. In a very similar way, the synthesis of glassy polymers in a very wide range of chemical structures offers unprecedented potential of applications. The contemporary availability of microfabrication technologies, such as direct laser writing or 3D printing, which add to the most common processes (deposition, lithography and etching), facilitates the development of novel or advanced microdevices based on glassy materials. Biochemical and biomedical sensors, especially with the lab-on-a-chip target, are one of the most evident proofs of the success of this material platform. Other applications have also emerged in environment, food, and chemical industries.
The present Special Issue of Micromachines aims at reviewing the current state-of-the-art and presenting perspectives of further development. Contributions related to the technologies, glassy materials, design and fabrication processes, characterization, and, eventually, applications are welcome.