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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 (CC BY 3.0).
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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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