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Micromachines 2012, 3(2), 379-395; doi:10.3390/mi3020379
Article

A Hybrid Thermopneumatic and Electrostatic Microvalve with Integrated Position Sensing

1,*  and 2
1 Advanced Platform Technology Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA 2 Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 March 2012 / Revised: 17 April 2012 / Accepted: 24 April 2012 / Published: 27 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Flow Controllers)
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Abstract

This paper presents a low-power hybrid thermopneumatic microvalve with an electrostatic hold and integrated valve plate position sensing. This combination of actuators in a single structure enables a high throw and force actuator with low energy consumption, a combination that is difficult to otherwise achieve. The completed 7.5 mm × 10.3 mm × 1.5 mm valve has an open flow rate of 8 sccm at 600 Pa, a leak rate of 2.2 × 10−3 sccm at 115 kPa, a open-to-closed fluidic conductance ratio of nearly one million, an actuation time of 430 ms at 250 mW, and a required power of 90 mW while closed. It additionally requires no power to open, and has a built-in capacitive position sensor with a sensitivity of 9.8 fF/kPa. The paper additionally presents analytical models of the valve components, design tradeoffs, and guidelines for achieving an optimized device.
Keywords: microvalve; thermopneumatic; electrostatic; low power; µGC; hybrid actuator microvalve; thermopneumatic; electrostatic; low power; µGC; hybrid actuator
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Potkay, J.A.; Wise, K.D. A Hybrid Thermopneumatic and Electrostatic Microvalve with Integrated Position Sensing. Micromachines 2012, 3, 379-395.

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