Turns in microfabricated capillary electrophoresis channels generally result in degraded separation quality. To circumvent this limitation, channels were constructed with different types of turns to determine the design that minimizes turn-induced band broadening. In particular, tapered turns were created by narrowing the separation channel width before the start of a turn and widening the channel after the turn is complete. The radius of curvature of the turn, the length over which the channel is tapered, and the degree of tapering were explored. The column efficiencies were determined by examining the resolution of the 271/281 base pair doublet in the separation of a phiX174 HaeIII DNA sizing ladder. Tapered turns with the smallest radius of curvature (250 microm), the shortest tapering length between the separation and turn widths (55 microm), and the largest tapering ratio (4:1 separation channel width to turn channel width) produced the highest resolution separations. These results are discussed by comparison to theoretical predictions of the effect of tapers and turns on analyte band dispersion in capillary electrophoresis.