Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Biosensors: Distance makes the signal grow stronger March 1st, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

NovAliX Turns to High-Resolution Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy for Pre-Clinical Drug Discovery Research: Thermo Fisher Scientificís Cryo-TEM provides critical information for small molecule and biologic drug discovery February 28th, 2017

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

DNA 'barcoding' allows rapid testing of nanoparticles for therapeutic delivery February 7th, 2017

Zeroing in on the true nature of fluids within nanocapillaries: While exploring the behavior of fluids at the nanoscale, a group of researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research discovered a peculiar state of fluid mixtures contained in microscopic channels January 11th, 2017

Fabrication of a Miniature Paper-Based Electroosmotic Actuator November 29th, 2016

Discoveries

Biosensors: Distance makes the signal grow stronger March 1st, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

NovAliX Turns to High-Resolution Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy for Pre-Clinical Drug Discovery Research: Thermo Fisher Scientificís Cryo-TEM provides critical information for small molecule and biologic drug discovery February 28th, 2017

Announcements

Biosensors: Distance makes the signal grow stronger March 1st, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

NovAliX Turns to High-Resolution Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscopy for Pre-Clinical Drug Discovery Research: Thermo Fisher Scientificís Cryo-TEM provides critical information for small molecule and biologic drug discovery February 28th, 2017

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

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