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Sensors 2010, 10(10), 8981-9001; doi:10.3390/s101008981

Study and Evaluation of a PCB-MEMS Liquid Microflow Sensor

1 Institute of Microelectronics, NCSR-“Demokritos”, P.O. Box 60228, 15310, Aghia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece 2 Department of Electronics, Technological and Educational Institute of Athens, 12210, Aegaleo, Athens, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2010 / Revised: 1 September 2010 / Accepted: 1 September 2010 / Published: 8 October 2010
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This paper presents the evaluation of a miniature liquid microflow sensor, directly integrated on a PCB. The sensor operation is based on the convective heat transfer principle. The heating and sensing elements are thin Pt resistors which are in direct electrical contact with the external copper tracks of the printed circuit board. Due to the low thermal conductivity of the substrate material, a high degree of thermal isolation is obtained which improves the operating characteristics of the device. The sensor is able to operate under both the hot-wire and the calorimetric principle. In order to fully exploit the temperature distribution in the flowing liquid, multiple sensing elements are positioned in various distances from the heater. A special housing was developed which allowed implementation of the sensor into tubes of various cross sectional areas. The sensor sensitivity and measurement range as a function of the sensing element distance were quantified. A minimum resolution of 3 μL/min and a measurement flow range up to 500 μL/min were achieved.
Keywords: microflow sensor; liquid flow measurement; PCB-MEMS microflow sensor; liquid flow measurement; PCB-MEMS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Petropoulos, A.; Kaltsas, G. Study and Evaluation of a PCB-MEMS Liquid Microflow Sensor. Sensors 2010, 10, 8981-9001.

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