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A technique was recently developed for the fabrication of microfluidic devices that involves using thermally sacrificial polymeric materials in conjunction with other conventional microelectronic processes. This method provides more versatility and choice for construction materials than other current techniques, and it enables the integration of higher levels of functionality into microfluidic systems (i.e., fully integrated multilevel fluidic systems with functional valves, pumping systems, other microelectromechanical system components, and microelectronic devices). This article describes recent results related to the development of photodefinable polycarbonates with improved properties for thermally sacrificial polymer applications. Results of the synthesis and characterization of a polycarbonate that can be directly patterned with the use of photoacid generators via acid-catalyzed thermolysis of polycarbonates are presented. © 2003 American Vacuum Society.