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Sensors 2014, 14(1), 229-244; doi:10.3390/s140100229

Integrated Cantilever-Based Flow Sensors with Tunable Sensitivity for In-Line Monitoring of Flow Fluctuations in Microfluidic Systems

Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, DTU Nanotech, Building 345E, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 23 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomechanical Sensors)
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For devices such as bio-/chemical sensors in microfluidic systems, flow fluctuations result in noise in the sensor output. Here, we demonstrate in-line monitoring of flow fluctuations with a cantilever-like sensor integrated in a microfluidic channel. The cantilevers are fabricated in different materials (SU-8 and SiN) and with different thicknesses. The integration of arrays of holes with different hole size and number of holes allows the modification of device sensitivity, theoretical detection limit and measurement range. For an average flow in the microliter range, the cantilever deflection is directly proportional to the flow rate fluctuations in the microfluidic channel. The SiN cantilevers show a detection limit below 1 nL/min and the thinnest SU-8 cantilevers a detection limit below 5 nL/min. Finally, the sensor is applied for in-line monitoring of flow fluctuations generated by external pumps connected to the microfluidic system. View Full-Text
Keywords: micromechanical sensor; flow meter; pump characterization micromechanical sensor; flow meter; pump characterization

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Noeth, N.; Keller, S.S.; Boisen, A. Integrated Cantilever-Based Flow Sensors with Tunable Sensitivity for In-Line Monitoring of Flow Fluctuations in Microfluidic Systems. Sensors 2014, 14, 229-244.

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