A hydraulics-based microfluidic pump in mock-CMOS micromachining

  Michael Vladimer

Gary Fedder
Cross section of the hydraulic micropump (unactuated).

Cross section of the hydraulic micropump (actuated).

"Zipper actuation" -- electrostatic pull-in.

The pump will electrostatically move fluid by electrostatically and hydraulically actuating a membrane with the purpose of feeding back water within a fuel cell for micro power generation. The membrane is electrostatically pulled down and hydraulically pushed up. To the best of our knowledge, the use of hydraulics in microfluidics is novel. The pump will ultimately be fabricated in micromachined Complementary Metal-Oxide-Silicon (CMOS) technology; for now it is made in an in house mock-CMOS process. Fabrication in CMOS offers two advantages: First the pumps will be cheaply manufactured in the same foundries as conventional integrated circuits (ICs). Second, the pump is therefore directly integrateable with the on chip electronics.

The membrane technology is based on the acoustic work of Neumann et al at Carnegie Mellon University and the hydraulics are novel, although based on the pneumatic work of Wagner et al at ISiT in Germany.



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