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Cryogenic and Fluidic Ways Lead to Low Cost Micro/Nano Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Jing Liu

Tsinghua University; Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Yang Yang

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Paper No. ICNMM2009-82143, pp. 1329-1336; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 7th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • ASME 2009 7th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Pohang, South Korea, June 22–24, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4349-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3850-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Building systems as compactly as possible has been a major theme in modern science and engineering practices. However, such enthusiastic endeavor often encounters big troubles due to high cost and complexity of the process it involves. Part of the reasons comes from the methodology itself, the fabrication, designing and characterization procedure etc. Among various disciplines to making micro/nano object, those enabled from the thermal and hydrodynamic science plays a rather important role. In this article, we will illustrate a cryogenic way for realizing a group of different micro/nano devices which can be implemented as mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, or optical functional units. The basic principle of the method lies in the formation of ice crystals in small area, from which micro/nano aqueous objects or signals transmitting across them can be blocked, manipulated and analyzed. In this way, a series of micro/nano devices such as freeze tweezer, ice valve, freeze-thaw pump, electrical or optical signal switch and micro thermal analyzer etc. can be developed via a rather simple and low cost way. As examples, some latest advancement made in the authors’ lab will be reviewed. Their innovative applications in a wide variety of micro/nano engineering fields will be discussed. Further, to illustrate the low cost way to directly manufacture micro/nano objects, we will explain a bubble fabrication method whose basic principle lies in the chemical reaction occurring at the fluidic interfaces between two or more soap adjacent bubbles. A unique virtue of the bubble is that it can have a rather huge diameter however an extremely small membrane thickness, whose smallest size can even reach nano scale. Therefore, the administrated chemical reaction in the common interface of the contacting bubbles would lead to products with extremely small size. Particularly, all these results were achieved via a rather straightforward way. The bubble builds up a bridge between the macroscopic manipulation/observation and the fabrication in small world. Several typical micro structures as fabricated in the lab will be illustrated. As a flexible, easily controllable, and low cost method, the bubble fabrication can possibly be developed as a routine strategy for making micro/nano structures in the near future.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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