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Rapid Design, Fabrication and Optimization of a Single Event Thermo-Pneumatic Microactuation for the Delivery of Minute Amounts of Liquids

[+] Author Affiliations
Andres M. Cardenas-Valencia, David P. Fries, Larry C. Langebrake, Robert F. Benson

Center for Ocean Technology, St. Petersburg, FL

Paper No. ICMM2003-1105, pp. 801-808; 8 pages
  • ASME 2003 1st International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • 1st International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Rochester, New York, USA, April 24–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3667-3
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The need for efficient metering control of liquids in small devices has led to a boom in the advent of different micro-fluidic actuation mechanisms. Here we present a brief study on a thermal-pneumatic actuation mechanism for an on-demand delivery of minute amounts of liquids. A closely coupled, iterative design-fabrication strategy is used for optimization of a system in which no freely moving membranes are included. Special consideration was given to the heating device, minimizing the energy consumed. The fabrication method and performance of two types of fabricated resistors are compared herein. The first, a conventional Nickel-Chromium resistor using, lift-off micro-fabrication techniques, was initially tested. The second, a Copper cladded liquid crystal polymer in conjunction with a novel mask-less patterning system was used to produce nonconventional heating micro-ohmic heaters. The heating efficiency was proven to be superior using the latter approach. Various micro-fabricated fluidic devices have been designed as case studies and have been fabricated and integrated using a variety of materials to illustrate the functionality of the approach. The combination of design and fabrication steps, the simplicity of the resistive device, and the materials selected combined, yield a direct path to making fluidic transport devices for micro-analytical and power systems.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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