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Title:
FEATURES IN SUBSTRATES AND METHODS OF FORMING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/097506
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The described embodiments relate to features (905) in substrates (300) and methods of forming same. One exemplary embodiment can be a microdevice that includes a substrate (300) extending between a first substrate surface (302) and a generally opposing second substrate surface (303), and at least one feature (905) formed into the first surface (302) along a bore axis that is not transverse to the first surface (302).

Inventors:
Clarke Jr., Leo (1000 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR, 97330, US)
Aschoff, Chris (1000 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR, 97330, US)
Addington, Cary G. (1000 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR, 97330, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2005/010430
Publication Date:
October 20, 2005
Filing Date:
March 29, 2005
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P. (Hewlett-Packard Company, Intellectual Property Administration 20555 S.H. 24, Houston TX, 77070, US)
Clarke Jr., Leo (1000 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR, 97330, US)
Aschoff, Chris (1000 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR, 97330, US)
Addington, Cary G. (1000 NE Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR, 97330, US)
International Classes:
B41J2/14; B41J2/16; (IPC1-7): B41J2/14; B41J2/16
Foreign References:
US6130693A2000-10-10
EP0724961A21996-08-07
EP1024005A22000-08-02
US5841452A1998-11-24
GB2384752A2003-08-06
US6412921B12002-07-02
US5160577A1992-11-03
Other References:
DRAKE D J ET AL: "SILICON ETCHED RESERVOIR FOR BUBBLE CONTROL" XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL, XEROX CORPORATION. STAMFORD, CONN, US, vol. 23, no. 5, September 1998 (1998-09), pages 219-221, XP000800559
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mcdaniel, James R. (Hewlett-Packard Company, Intellectual Property Administration P.O. Box 272400, Mail Stop 3, Fort Collins CO, 80527-2400, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is :
1. A microdevlce comprising: a substrate (300) extending between a first substrate surface (302) and a generally opposing second substrate surface (303); and, at least one feature (905) formed into the substrate (300) along a bore axis that is not transverse to the first surface (302) and is not parallel to the first surface (302).
2. The microdevice of claim 1, wherein the feature (905) is defined by at least one sidewall (902 a) and wherein a first portion (904a) of the sidewall (902a) is generally transverse the first surface (302) and a second different portion (906a) of the sidewall (902a) is not transverse the first surface (302).
3. The microdevice of claim 1, wherein the feature (905) is defined by at least one sidewall (10O2a) and wherein a first portion (1004a) of the sidewall (1002a) and a second portion (1006a) of the sidewall (1002a) are not transverse the first surface (302), and the first portion (1004a) lies at a first angle relative the first surface (302) and the second portion (1006a) lies at a second different angle.
4. The microdevice of claim 1, wherein the bore axis lies at an angle in a range of about 10 degrees to about 80 degrees relative to the first surface (302).
5. A print head (204) comprising: a substrate (300) extending between a first substrate surface (302) and a generally opposing second substrate surface (303); and, multiple fluid. handling slots (305) formed through the substrate (300) between the first surface (302) and the second surface (303), wherein at the first surface (302) the multiple slots (305) define a first footprint (402a) having a first area and wherein at the second surface (303) the multiple slots (305) define a second footprint (402b) having a second area, and wherein the first area is at least about 10 percent greater than the second area.
6. The print head (204) of claim 5, wherein the first footprint (402a) has a first width taken orthogonally to a long axis of the slots (305) and the second footprint (402a) has a second width taken orthogonally to the long axis of the slots (305), and wherein the first width is at least about 10 percent greater than the second width.
7. The print head (204) of claim 6, wherein the first width is at least about 20 percent greater than the second width.
8. A fluid. ejecting device comprising: a substrate (300) extending between a first substrate surface (302) and a generally opposing second substrate surface (303); and, at least one fluid. handling slot (305) extending between the first surface (302) and the second surface (303) along a long axis that is generally parallel to the first surface (302), wherein when viewed transverse the long axis the slot (305) has a first width at the first surface (302) defining a first midpoint and a second width at the second surface (303) defining a second midpoint and wherein a line intersecting the first midpoint and the second midpoint is not orthogonal to the first surface (302).
9. The fluid. ejecting device of claim 8, wherein the first width is greater than the second width.
10. The fluid. ejecting device of claim 9, wherein the at least one slot (305) has a slot profile when viewed transverse the long axis that generally tapers from the second surface (303) to the first surface (302).
Description:
FEATURES IN SUBSTRATES AND METHODS OF FORMING

BACKGROUND [0001] Many microdevices include substrates having features formed therein. Existing feature shapes, dimensions, and/or orientations can limit microdevice design.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0002] The same components are used throughout the drawings to reference like features and components wherever feasible. Alphabetic suffixes are utilized to designate different embodiments. [0003] Fig. 1 illustrates a front elevational view of a diagrammatic representation of an exemplary printer in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [0004] Fig. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a diagrammatic representation of a print cartridge suitable for use in the exemplary printer shown in Fig. 1 in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [0005] Figs. 3 -3 a illustrate diagrammatic representations of a cross-sectional view of a portion of an exemplary print cartridge. [0006] Fig. 4 illustrates a diagrammatic representation of a cross-sectional view of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [0007] Figs. 4a-4b illustrate diagrammatic representations of top and bottom views respectively of the substrate illustrated in Fig. 4 in accordance with one embodiment. [0008] Fig. 5 illustrates a diagrammatic representation of a perspective view of a portion of a print cartridge in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [0009] Fig. 6 illustrates a diagrammatic representation of a top vie^v of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00010] Fig. 6a illustrates a diagrammatic representation of a perspective cut¬ away view of the exemplary substrate illustrated in Fig. 6 in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00011] Fig. 6b illustrates_a diagrammatic representation of a cross-sectional view of the exemplary substrate illustrated in Fig. 6 in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00012] Fig. 6c illustrates_a diagrammatic representation of a cross-sectional view of an alternative configuration of the view represented in Fig_ 6b in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00013] Fig. 7 illustrates a diagrammatic representation of a cross-sectional view of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00014] Fig. 8 illustrates a diagrammatic representation of a perspective view of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00015] Figs. 8a-8b illustrate a diagrammatic representation of" cross- sectional views of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00016] Figs. 9a-9b illustrate a diagrammatic representation of* cross- sectional views of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00017]' Figs. 10a- 10b illustrate a diagrammatic representation of cross- sectional views of an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment. [00018] Figs. 1 Ia-I Ic illustrate process steps for forming an exemplary substrate in accordance with one exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS [00019] The embodiments described below pertain to methods and systems for forming features in a substrate and to microdevices incorporating such substrates. Feature(s) can have various configurations including blind features and through features. A blind feature passes through less than an entirety of the substrate's thickness. A feature which extends totally through the thickness becomes a through feature. A blind feature may be further processed into a through feature during subsequent processing steps. [00020] Exemplary substrates having features formed therein can be utilized in various microdevices such as microchips and fluid-ejecting devices among others. Fluid-ejecting devices such as print heads are utilized in printing applications. Fluid-ejecting devices also are utilized in medical and laboratory applications among others. Exemplary substrates also can be utilized in various other applications. For example, display devices may comprise features formed into a glass substrate to create a visual display. [00021] Several embodiments are provided below where the features comprise fluid-handling slots ("slots"). These techniques can be applicable equally to other types of features formed into a substrate. [00022] Slotted substrates can be incorporated into fluid ejection devices such as ink jet print heads and/or print cartridges, among other uses. The various components described below may not be illustrated to scale. Rather, the included figures are intended as diagrammatic representations to illustrate to the reader various inventive principles that are described herein.

EXEMPLARY PRINTING DEVICE [00023] Fig. 1 shows a diagrammatic representation of an exemplary printing device that can utilize an exemplary print cartridge. In this embodiment the printing device comprises a printer 100. The printer shown here is embodied in the form of an inkjet printer. The printer 100 can be capable of printing in black- and-white and/or color. The term "printing device" refers to any type of printing device and/or image forming device that employs slotted substrate(s) to achieve at least a portion of its functionality. Examples of such printing devices can include, but are not limited to, printers, facsimile machines, and photocopiers. In this exemplary printing device the slotted substrates comprise a portion of a print head which is incorporated into a print cartridge, an example of which is described below.

EXEMPLARYPRODUCTSANDMETHODS [00024] Fig. 2 shows a diagrammatic representation of an exemplary print cartridge 202 that can be utilized in an exemplary printing device. The print cartridge is comprised of a print head 204 and a cartridge body 206 that supports the print head. Though a single print head 204 is employed on this print cartridge 202 other exemplary configurations may employ multiple print heads on a single print cartridge. [00025] Print cartridge 202 is configured to have a self-contained fluid or ink supply within cartridge body 206. Other print cartridge configurations may alternatively or additionally be configured to receive fluid from an external supply. Other exemplary configurations will be recognized by those of skill in the art. Though the term ink is utilized below, it should be understood that fluid-ejecting devices can deliver a diverse range of fluids. [00026] Reliability of print cartridge 202 is desirable for proper functioning of printer 100. Further, failure of print cartridges during manufacture increases production costs. Print cartridge failure can result from a failure of the print cartridge components. Such component failure can be caused by cracking. As such, various embodiments described below can provide print heads with a reduced propensity to crack. [00027] Reliability of print cartridge 202 also can be affected by bubbles contained within the print cartridge, especially within the print head 204. Among other origins, bubbles can be formed in the ink as a byproduct of operation of a printing device. For example, bubbles can be formed as a byproduct of the ejection process in the printing device's print cartridge when ink is ejected from one or more firing chambers of the print head. [00028] If bubbles accumulate within the print head the bubbles can occlude ink flow to some or all of the firing chambers and can cause the print head to malfunction. Some embodiments can evacuate bubbles from the print head to decrease the likelihood of such a malfunction as will become apparent below. [00029] An additional desire in designing print cartridges, is the reduction of their cost. One way to reduce such cost, is to reduce the dimensions, and therefore the material and fabrication costs, of print head 204. [00030] Fig. 3 illustrates a side-sectional diagrammatic representation of a portion of the exemplary print head 204 as indicated in Fig. 2. Fig. 3a illustrates an alternative print head configuration sometimes referred to as an edge feed configuration. [00031] The view of Fig. 3 is taken transverse an axis normal to first substrate surface ("first surface") 302, the axis extending into and out of the plane of the page upon which Fig. 3 appears. In this particular embodiment this axis is the long axis which lies between the first and second surfaces and extends generally parallel to those surfaces. Here a substrate 300 has a thickness t which extends between a first surface 302 and a second substrate surface ("second surface") 303. In this embodiment three features 305a-c comprising fluid-feed slots ("slots") pass through substrate 300 between first and second surfaces 302, 303. For purposes of explanation in this embodiment the terms "slot" and "feature" are utilized interchangeably. Examples of other feature types are described below in relation to Figs. 9a-9b and Figs. 10a- 10b. [00032] In this particular embodiment, substrate 300 comprises silicon which either can be doped or undoped. Other substrate materials can include, but are not limited to, gallium arsenide, gallium phosphide, indium phosphide, glass, quartz, ceramic or other material. [00033] Substrate thickness t can have any suitable dimensions that are appropriate for an intended application. In some embodiments substrate thicknesses t can range from less than 100 microns to more than 2000 microns. One exemplary embodiment can utilize a substrate that is approximately 675 microns thick. Though a single substrate is discussed herein, other suitable embodiments may comprise a substrate that has multiple layers during fabrication and/or in the finished product. For example, one such embodiment may employ a substrate having a first component and a second sacrificial component which is discarded at some point during processing. [00034] In this particular embodiment, one or more thin-film layers 314 are positioned over substrate's second surface 303. In at least some embodiments, where substrate 300 is incorporated into a fluid ejection device, a barrier layer 316 and an orifice plate or orifice layer 318 are positioned over the thin-film layers 314. [00035] In one embodiment one or more thin-film layers 314 can comprise one or more conductive traces (not shown) and electrical components such as transistors (not shown), and resistors 320. Individual resistors can be controlled selectively via the electrical traces. Thin-film layers 314 also can at least partially define in some embodiments, a wall or surface of multiple fluid-feed passageways 322 through which fluid can pass. Thin-film layers 314 also can comprise among others, a field or thermal oxide layer. Barrier layer 316 can define, at least in part, multiple firing chambers 324. In some embodiments fluid-feed passageways 322 may be defined in barrier layer 316, alone or in combination with thin-film layers 314. Orifice layer 318 can define multiple firing nozzles 326. Individual firing nozzles can be aligned respectively with individual firing chambers 324. [00036] Barrier layer 316 and orifice layer 318 can be formed in any suitable manner. In one particular implementation both barrier layer 316 and orifice layer 318 comprise thick-film material, such as a photo-imagable polymer material. The photo-imagable polymer material can be applied in any suitable manner. For example, the material can be "spun-on" as will be recognized by the skilled artisan. [00037] After being spun-on, barrier layer 316 then can be patterned to form, at least in part, desired features such as passageways and firing chambers therein. In one embodiment patterned areas of the barrier layer can be filled with a sacrificial material in what is commonly referred to as a 'lost wax1 process. In this embodiment orifice layer 318 can be comprised of the same material as the barrier layer and can be formed over barrier layer 316. In one such example orifice layer material can be 'spun-on' over the barrier layer. Orifice layer 318 then can be patterned as desired to form nozzles 326 over respective chambers 324. The sacrificial material then can be removed from the barrier layer's chambers 324 and passageways 322. [00038] In another embodiment, barrier layer 316 comprises a thick-film, while the orifice layer 318 comprises an electroformed nickel or other suitable metal material. Alternatively the orifice layer can be a polymer, such as "Kapton" or "Oriflex", with laser ablated nozzles. Other suitable embodiments may employ an orifice layer which performs the functions of both a barrier layer and an orifice layer. [00039] A housing 330 of cartridge body 206 can be positioned over substrate's first surface 302. In some embodiments, housing 330 can comprise a polymer, ceramic and/or other suitable material(s). An adhesive, though not specifically shown, may be utilized to bond or otherwise join housing 330 to substrate 300. [00040] In operation, a fluid, such as ink, can enter slots 305a-c from the cartridge body 206. Fluid then can flow through individual passageways 322 into an individual firing chamber 324. Fluid can be ejected from the firing chamber when an electrical current is passed through an individual resistor 320 or other ejection means. The electrical current can heat the resistor sufficiently to heat some of the fluid contained in the firing chamber to its boiling point so that it expands to eject a portion of the fluid from a respectively positioned nozzle 326. The ejected fluid then can be replaced by additional fluid from passageway 322. [00041] As represented in Fig. 3a, slot 305b] extends between first and second surfaces 302, 303. Slots 305ai, 305C1 extend to second surface 303 from first and second sidewalls 340, 342 that are orthogonal or oblique to the second surface. Such a configuration may allow reduced print head die sizes to be used that provide the same functionality as larger die sizes. [00042] Fig. 4 illustrates a diagrammatic representation of substrate 300 illustrated in Fig. 3. In this embodiment each slot 305a-c extends through substrate 300 along a bore axis b\, ό2, and Z>3 respectively. A bore axis intersects the first and second surfaces and can generally correspond to a direction of intended fluid flow through the slot. Slot 305b extends along bore axis b2 which is transverse to second surface 303. Slots 305a and 305c extend along bores b\, b^ which are not transverse to second surface 303. Individual slots 305a, 305c lie at angles ct], α2 with respect to second surface 303. [00043] Angles (X1, α2 can comprise any angle less than 90 degrees relative to second surface 303 with some embodiments having a value in the range of 10 degrees to 80 degrees. In some embodiments angles αb α2 can range from about 60 degrees to about 80 degrees. In other embodiments angles Ci1, α2 can range from about 40 degrees to about 59 degrees. In still other embodiments angles Ot1, α2 can range from about 20 degrees to about 39 degrees. In this particular embodiment angles Ot1, α2 each comprise about 62 degrees, another particular embodiment has angles of about 45 degrees. Though in this embodiment angles oil, α2 comprise similar values, other embodiments may have dissimilar values. For example in an alternative embodiment angle oil can have a value of 45 degrees while angle α2 has a value of 55 degrees. Having one or more angled slots can allow greater options in print cartridge design, as well in the design of other microdevices, as will be described in more detail below. [00044] In this embodiment slots 305a, 305c are angled relative the second surface 303 when viewed transverse the long axis. Alternatively or additionally, other embodiments may be angled relative to second surface 303 when viewed along the long axis. Examples of such a configuration will be described in more detail below in relation to Figs. 8-8b. Embodiments having one or more angled slots can allow greater design flexibility. For example, angled slots can allow a first geometry at first surface 302 and a second different geometry at second surface 303. [00045] Figs. 4a and 4b illustrate top views of substrate's first surface 302 and second surface 303 respectively. In this embodiment slots 305a-305c define a first footprint 402a at first surface 302 and a second different footprint 402b at second surface 303. First footprint 402a defines a first area while second footprint 402b defines a second area. In some embodiments the first area can be at least about 10 percent greater than the second area. In this particular embodiment first area is about 20 percent greater than second area. Further, in this embodiment the increased area is due predominately to a greater width wa of footprint 402a when compared to width Wb of footprint 402b. [00046] Fig. 5 shows a cut-away perspective view of a portion of another exemplary print cartridge 202a. Substrate 300a is positioned proximate housing 330a in an orientation in which the two components might be bonded together to form print cartridge 202a. In this embodiment three slots 305d-305f are defined, at least in part, by substrate material remaining between the slots. This substrate material remaining between the slots is referred to herein as "beam(s)" 502a-502d which extend generally parallel to the long axis of the slots. Beams 502a and 502d can be referred to as external beams as they define a slot on one side and a substrate edge on the other. Similarly, beams 502b-502c can be referred to as internal beams as they define slots on two sides. Beams 502a-502d have widths W]-W4 respectively at first surface 302a as measured transverse the slots' long axes. [00047] Some print cartridge designs achieve effective integration of substrate 30θa with cartridge body housing 330a by maintaining the widest possible beam width of the substrate's narrowest beam relative to first surface 302a. Such a configuration can among other factors aid in molding cartridge body housing 330a. In this illustrated embodiment beam widths WpW4 are generally equal. [00048] Beams 502a-502d also define widths w5-ws respectively at second surface 303a as measured transverse the slots' long axes. Some print cartridge designs configure substrate's second surface 303a so that external beams 502a, 502d are relatively wider than internal beams 502b, 502c to allow placement of various electrical components overlying second surface 303 a on the external beams. As shown in Fig. 5 print head substrate 300a incorporating one or more angled slots can achieve both a desired first surface configuration and a desired second surface configuration. Further, internal beams 502b, 502c of substrate 300a are stronger and less likely to crack than a configuration where second surface widths w^, W7 are maintained through the substrate' thickness t. [00049] The embodiment shown in Fig. 5 has generally continuous slots when viewed along the long axis. Other embodiments may have substrate material or 'ribs' extending across the substrate's long axis from a beam defining one side of a slot to another beam defining an opposing side of the slot. [00050] Figs. 6-6c illustrate one example where ribs 602 extend generally across an axis of slots 305g-305i. Fig. 6 illustrates a top view of substrate's second surface 303b. Fig. 6a illustrates a cut-away view of substrate 300b as indicated in Fig. 6. Figs. 6b-6c illustrate views taken generally orthogonally to the .y-axis which provide two exemplary rib configurations. [00051] As illustrated in Figs. 6-6a ribs 602 extend between beams 502e and 502f, beams 502f and 502g, and beams 502g and 502h. Fig. 6b illustrates rib 602 illustrated in Fig. 6a in a little more detail, while Fig. 6c comprises a view similar to that illustrated in Fig. 6b of another exemplary rib configuration. [00052] Fig. 6b illustrates an embodiment where rib 602 tapers from a first width W1 proximate first surface 302b to a second width w2 proximate second surface 303b. This is but one exemplary configuration. For example other embodiments may maintain a generally uniform width between the first and second surfaces. In this instance rib 602 can approximate a frustrum. Such a configuration may supply generally uniform fluid flow to various chambers, described above, which can be supplied by slot 305g. Other embodiments may utilize other rib shapes. In the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 6a-6b height h of rib 602 equals thickness t of substrate 300b. [00053] Fig. 6c illustrates an alternative configuration where rib height h is less than thickness L In this particular instance rib 602a extends from first surface 302b but does not reach second surface 303b. Configurations which utilize a height h less than thickness t may contribute to a uniform fluid environment for various chambers supplied by slot 305g. [00054] Fig. 7 illustrates a cross-sectional representation of another exemplary substrate 300c. This cross-sectional view is similar to the view illustrated in Fig, 4 and is transverse the long axis. Two slots 305j, 305k extend through substrate 300c along bores b4, b5 respectively which are not transverse to first surface 302c. In this instance bores be,, b5 intersect midpoints of widths W8, W9 and W10, Wn respectively. [00055] In this embodiment slot 305j is defined, at least in part, by a first sidewall 702a and a second sidewall 702b. Similarly, slot 305k is defined, at least in part, by a first sidewall 702c and a second sidewall 702d. [00056] During operation of a print cartridge incorporating substrate 300c bubbles may occur. Some of the described embodiments can allow a bubble to evacuate more readily from the print head compared to a traditional print head design. In this particular embodiment, a bubble is indicated generally at 704. Buoyancy forces acting upon bubble 704 are directed along the z-axis. Fluid flow along bore b$ can be represented as a vector having both y-axis and z-axis components. Generally only the z-axis component of the fluid flow acts against the bubble's buoyancy forces and the bubble is more likely to migrate toward first surface 302c and ultimately from the slot. In some instances bubble 704 may migrate toward first sidewall 702c and then up the first sidewall toward first surface 302c. [00057] Where multiple bubbles occur the bubbles may migrate toward and up first sidewall 702c. Following a common path may tend to force the bubbles together leading to agglomeration. If the bubbles agglomerate they may pass out of the slot more quickly than they otherwise would. Agglomeration may assist with bubble removal because the buoyant force acts to move the bubble upwards against the ink flow. This buoyant force may become increasingly dominant as the bubbles agglomerate and grow because it increases with the cube of the bubble diameter whereas the drag force induced by the downward ink flow increases only with the square of the bubble diameter. [00058] As represented in Fig. 7 width w% of slot 305j at first surface 302c is greater than width Wg at second surface 303c. Similarly, width W10 of slot 305k at first surface 302c is greater than width W1] at second surface 303c. In this embodiment slots 305j, 305k have a slot profile which generally increases from second surface 303c toward first surface 302c. As such if bubble 704 has a volume sufficient to contact both sidewalls 702c, 702d simultaneously the less constrictive width environment progressively available toward first surface 302c can provide a driving force to move bubble 704 toward the first surface 302c and ultimately out of the print head. [00059] Figs. 8-8b represent another substrate 30Od. Fig. 8 represents a perspective view, while Fig. 8a represents a cross-sectional view taken along line a-a indicated in Fig. 8 and Fig. 8b represents a cross-sectional view taken along line b-b. In this embodiment line a-a is generally parallel to a long axis of slot 3051 and line b-b is generally orthogonal the long axis. [00060] In this embodiment, when viewed along its long axis slot 3051 generally approximates a portion of a parallelogram 804 as best can be appreciated from Fig. 8a. Also, in this particular embodiment slot 3051 approximates a portion of a parallelogram 806 when viewed transverse the long axis as best can be appreciated from Fig. 8b. Other slots can approximate other geometric shapes. Various slot shapes can allow increased flexibility of print head design over standard slot configurations. [00061] Figs. 9a-9b and 10a- 10b represent exemplary features and process steps for forming the features. In these two embodiments the term feature is employed. The feature may be a bind feature or a through feature comprising a slot. [00062] Figs. 9a-9b represent cross-sectional views of substrate 30Oe. Fig. 9a represents an intermediary step in forming a feature in the substrate, while Fig. 9b represents feature 905 formed in substrate 300e. Feature 905 can be utilized as a fluid-handling slot or electrical interconnect, e.g. a via, among other uses. Feature 905 defines a bore axis bη which is not transverse first surface 302e and which intersects a midpoint of the feature width w\2, W13 at the first surface 302e and the second surface 303e respectively. [00063] Feature 905 is defined, at least in part, by one or more sidewalls. In this embodiment two sidewalls 902a, 902b are indicated. Also in this embodiment individual sidewalls 902a, 902b have a first sidewall portion 904a, 904b respectively that is generally transverse to first surface 302e. Further in this embodiment individual sidewalls 902a, 902b have a second different sidewall portion 906a, 906b that is not transverse the first surface. [00064] Feature 905 can be formed with one or more substrate removal techniques. Examples of suitable substrate removal techniques are described below in relation to Fig. 1 Ia-I Ic. One suitable formation method can involve removing substrate material from second surface 303e as indicated generally at 910. The substrate removal process indicated at 910 can form first sidewall portions 904a, 904b. The same removal process and/or one or more different removal processes can be utilized to remove substrate material indicated generally at 912. In this instance the sidewall removal process indicated generally at 912 can form sidewall portions 906a, 906b. The second removal process can be accomplished from either first surface 302e, second surface 303e or a combination thereof. Other embodiments may conduct the substrate removal process indicated at 912 before the substrate removal process indicated at 910. [00065] Figs. 1Oa-IOb show feature 905a formed in substrate 300f. Feature 905a defines a bore axis b% which is not transverse first surface 302f and intersects a midpoint of the feature width W14, W15 at the first surface 302f and at a bottom surface 1000 respectively. In this embodiment feature 905a can comprise a first region 1001a and a second region 1001b. In some embodiments the two regions 1001a, 1001b can be formed in distinct steps or as a single process. [00066] Feature 905a can be defined, at least in part, by one or more sidewalls. In this embodiment two sidewalls 1002a, 1002b are indicated. Also in this embodiment individual sidewalls 1002a, 1002b have a first sidewall portion 1004a, 1004b respectively that is not transverse to first surface 302f and lies at a first angle α4 relative to first surface 302f.. Further in this embodiment individual sidewalls 1002a, 1002b have a second different sidewall portion 1006a, 1006b respectively that is not transverse the first surface and which lies at a second different angle α5 relative to first surface 302f. These exemplary sidewall configurations can allow greater microdevice design flexibility. [00067] Figs. 1Ia-I Ic show process steps for forming an exemplary feature in a substrate. [00068] Fig. 11a, illustrates a laser machine 1102 for removing substrate material sufficient to form feature 905b in a substrate. Feature 905b generally can approximate a circle, an ellipsoid, a rectangle, or any other desired shape whether regular or irregular. For purposes of explanation, an individual substrate 300g is illustrated here. Other embodiments may act upon a wafer or other material which subsequently can be separated or can be diced into individual substrates. [00069] In this embodiment, laser machine 1102 comprises a laser source 1106 configured to generate laser beam 1108 for laser machining substrate 300g. Exemplary laser beams such as laser beam 1108 can provide sufficient energy to energize substrate material at which the laser beam is directed. Energizing can comprise melting, vaporizing, exfoliating, phase exploding, ablating, reacting, and/or a combination thereof, among others processes. Some exemplary laser machines may utilize a gas assist and/or liquid assist process to aid in substrate removal. [00070] In this embodiment substrate 30Og is positioned on a fixture or stage 1112 for processing. Suitable fixtures. should be recognized by the skilled artisan. Some such fixtures may be configured to move the substrate along x, y, and/or z coordinates. [00071] Various exemplary embodiments can utilize one or more mirrors 1114, galvanometers 1116 and/or lenses 1118 to direct laser beam 1108 at first surface 302g. In some embodiments, laser beam 1108 can be focused in order to increase its energy density to machine the substrate more effectively. In these exemplary embodiments the laser beam can be focused to achieve a desired beam geometry where the laser beam contacts the substrate 30Og. [00072] Laser machine 1102 further includes a controller 1120 coupled to laser source 1106, stage 1112, and galvanometer 1116. Controller 1120 can comprise a processor for executing computer readable instructions contained on one or more of hardware, software, and firmware. Controller 1120 can control laser source 1106, stage 1112 and/or galvanometer 1116 to form feature 905b. Other embodiments may control some. or all of the processes manually or with a combination of controllers and manual operation. [00073] As illustrated in Fig. 11a, laser beam 1108 is forming feature 905b into substrate 300g. Feature 905b is formed with stage 1112 orienting substrate's first surface 302g generally transverse to laser beam 1108. Feature 905b extends along a bore axis which is generally transverse to first surface 302g. In this instance the bore axis of feature 905b pan be represented by laser beam 1108 proximate the substrate . - [00074] Fig. lib illustrates a subsequent process step where stage 1112 has repositioned substrate 30Og to form feature 905c. In this embodiment stage 1112 can orient substrate 300g at an angle β less than 90 degrees relative to laser beam 1108. Various embodiments can utilize angles ranging from about 10 degrees to about 80 degrees. In some embodiments angle β can range from about 60 degrees to about 80 degrees. In other embodiments angle β can range from about 40 degrees to about 59 degrees. In still other embodiments angle β can range from about 20 degrees to about 39 degrees. In this particular embodiment angle β comprises about 70 degrees. During laser machining, adjustments can be made to stage 1 112, lens 1118 and/or galvanometer 1116 to maintain focus of the laser beam on the substrate. This process can be utilized to form blind features and/or through features. Though Fig. 1 Ib illustrates one exemplary configuration where stage 1 112 and substrate 300g are angled relative to laser beam 1108, other exemplary configurations may angle the laser beam and/or laser machine relative to the substrate to achieve a desired orientation. Still other embodiments may angle both the laser beam and the substrate to achieve a desired orientation of the laser beam to the substrate. [0O075] Fig. l ie illustrates a further process step forming another feature 905d. Stage 1112 repositioned substrate 30Og relative to laser beam 1108 to form feature 905d having a desired orientation. The skilled artisan should recognize other suitable configurations. [00076] Although specific structural features and methodological steps are described, it is to be understood that the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims are not necessarily limited to the specific features or steps described. Rather, the specific features and steps are disclosed as forms of implementation of the inventive concepts/