A thermopneumatic dispensing micropump

Christopher G. Cooney, Bruce C. Towe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A micropump for dispensing microliter liquid volumes is realized by warming a thermopneumatic fluid that expands a membrane to pressurize a liquid reservoir with an outlet flow restrictor. The temperature of this liquid-vapor perfluorocarbon mixture is controlled by a thin film heater. The outlet flow restrictors, used in this work, are 75-100μm silica capillaries, which result in microliter per minute flow rates at 7-42kPa liquid pressure levels. We investigate both open loop designs and closed loop designs with pressure feedback. The closed loop designs offer increased transient and steady state flow control and allow a much larger range of pump geometries compared to open loop designs. The micropump dispenses 1.4μl/min for 4.5h with an average power of 200mW. Due to its design with no moving parts, this thermopneumatic pump is low cost and simple in construction. The basic principles appear suited to MEMS fabrication, and so would have potential applications for micro total chemical analysis systems (μTAS), biosensors, and "lab-on-a-chip" devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Volume116
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 29 2004

Fingerprint

outlet flow
Liquids
liquids
Pumps
lab-on-a-chip devices
pumps
Fluorocarbons
Lab-on-a-chip
equilibrium flow
chemical analysis
bioinstrumentation
Flow control
heaters
Biosensors
Silicon Dioxide
microelectromechanical systems
MEMS
flow velocity
Vapors
Silica

Keywords

  • Microflow
  • Microfluidic
  • Micropump
  • Miniature
  • Thermopneumatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Instrumentation

Cite this

A thermopneumatic dispensing micropump. / Cooney, Christopher G.; Towe, Bruce C.

In: Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical, Vol. 116, No. 3, 29.10.2004, p. 519-524.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cooney, Christopher G. ; Towe, Bruce C. / A thermopneumatic dispensing micropump. In: Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical. 2004 ; Vol. 116, No. 3. pp. 519-524.
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