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Laser Microdrilling and Anodic Oxidation of Titanium for the Manufacturing of a Wettability Controlled Microvalve With UV/Dark Actuation

[+] Author Affiliations
Ali Gökhan Demir, Barbara Previtali, Massimiliano Bestetti

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Paper No. ESDA2010-24237, pp. 533-542; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 10th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • ASME 2010 10th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis, Volume 5
  • Istanbul, Turkey, July 12–14, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4919-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3877-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Capillary pressures due to the wetting behaviour of a liquid on a material can be exploited to control the pressure drop of the liquid into microchannels. The pressure can be estimated by the Young-Laplace equation and for a given liquid, high values can be achieved by having small microchannel diameters and high wetting contact angles. An original actuation method for a microvalve can be derived from this, if reversible wettability behaviour can be achieved, i.e. the switching between hydrophobic to hydrophilic states implies that the microvalve can be turned on and off. In the present work a wettability controlled microvalve with UV/dark actuation is proposed. The valve microchannels are obtained by laser microdrilling on commercially pure titanium foil. Then the drilled titanium foil is anodic oxidized to grow on the microchannel surfaces a nanostructured TiO2 layer, which exhibits reversible wettability behaviour upon the alternate application of UV and darkness. Finally, the concept is demonstrated in a prototype microvalve controlled between OFF and ON states by UV light application.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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