Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Microfluidics: Silicon valves operate at high pressures

Abstract:
Currently commercially available valves designed for micro-hydraulic systems are purely mechanical constructions and do not provide the degree of tightness necessary to efficiently regulate the flow of fluids under pressure of many atmospheres. Micromechanical valves made in silicon, using technologies employed in the processing of semiconductor materials, have been built at the Institute of Electron Technology (ITE) in Warsaw. "Our silicon microvalves provide tightness up to microlitres per minute for pressures of the order of a few dozen atmospheres. We believe there is still some room for improvement," says Paweł Kowalski, engineer at ITE, one of the designers.

Microfluidics: Silicon valves operate at high pressures

Warsaw, Poland | Posted on January 12th, 2012

Two silicon microvalves have been built at the Institute of Electron Technology: a check valve, which does not require any control, and a through-flow valve, electronically controlled by means of a piezoelectric stack. The devices belong to a category of micromechanical systems known as MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems). The key elements of both of them are silicon membranes and specially shaped sockets made with micrometre accuracy.

In the check valve, pressure applied in the direction of the flow causes the silicon membrane to deform, allowing liquid or gas to flow freely. Pressure applied in the opposite direction presses the membrane against an inlet opening, blocking it. The sensitivity of the valve and the pressure range depend on the thickness of silicon brackets holding the membrane in place over the opening. "The main advantage of the valve is its extremely simple construction," argues Kowalski.

In the electronically controlled valve, the silicon membrane is propped against a piezoelectric stack. Depending on the applied voltage, the stack expands or contracts, deforming the membrane and shutting off or allowing the flow of liquid. If the stack is powered by a voltage of 24 V, the valve will operate at pressures up to 50 atmospheres. In case of a voltage of 150 V, the pressures can reach up to 200 atmospheres. The pressure range can also be expanded without increasing the voltage, by increasing the size of the piezoelectric stack.

The silicon elements of both valves are the result of consecutive processes of plasma etching, photolithography and deposition of silicon and aluminium oxides. The advanced production technologies of the working elements of the valves, typical for production processes of electronic systems, are by no means cheap. Nevertheless, up to several dozen working elements can be produced out of a single silicon plate in a single production cycle, which significantly reduces the unit price. The finished silicon elements of the valves are then mounted in metal casings.

Works on the silicon microfluid valves have been financed from the statutory funds of the Institute of Electron Technology.

####

About ITE - Instytut Technologii Elektronowej
The Institute of Electron Technology in Warsaw (ITE) carries out research in the field of electronics and solid-state physics. It develops, implements and popularizes state-of-the-art micro and nanotechnologies in photonics and micro and nanoelectronics. The Institute focuses on optoelectronic detectors and radiation sources, state-of-the-art semiconductor lasers, micro and nanoprobes, nuclear radiation detectors, microsystems and sensors for interdisciplinary applications, as well as application-specific integrated circuits ASIC. In order to allow easier access to the technology, construction and measurement services for industrial and science and research units, the Institute has established the Centre of Nanophotonics, the Centre of Nanosystems and Microelectronic Technologies and the Laboratory for Multilayer and Ceramic Technologies.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Paweł Kowalski
Institute of Electron Technology
+48 22 5487962

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

A*STAR's Simtech collaboration agreements to accelerate the growth and development of the microfluidics industry April 1st, 2014

Dolomite releases novel droplet-on-demand sequencing and droplet generation microfluidic system April 1st, 2014

Heat-Based Technique Offers New Way to Measure Microscopic Particles March 13th, 2014

New partnership between Malvern Instruments and RheoSense brings m-VROCi to industrial markets February 28th, 2014

Discoveries

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain April 23rd, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Guo Lab Shows Potential of RNA as Heat-resistant Polymer Material for Nanoarchitectures April 23rd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Transparent Conductive Films and Sensors Are Hot Segments in Printed Electronics: Start-ups in these fields show above-average momentum, while companies working on emissive displays such as OLED are fading, Lux Research says April 17th, 2014

Relieving electric vehicle range anxiety with improved batteries: Lithium-sulfur batteries last longer with nanomaterial-packed cathode April 16th, 2014

Catching the (Invisible) Wave: UC Santa Barbara researchers create a unique semiconductor that manipulates light in the invisible infrared/terahertz range, paving the way for new and enhanced applications April 11th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE