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Micromachines 2018, 9(2), 45; doi:10.3390/mi9020045

Three-Dimensional Fractal Geometry for Gas Permeation in Microchannels

1
Department of Chemical & Enviromental Engineering, Nanoscience Institute of Aragon, University of Zaragoza, Edif I+D+i, Campus Río Ebro, C/Mariano Esquillor, s/n, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Mesoscale Chemical Systems, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
3
NanoLab cleanroom, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract

The novel concept of a microfluidic chip with an integrated three-dimensional fractal geometry with nanopores, acting as a gas transport membrane, is presented. The method of engineering the 3D fractal structure is based on a combination of anisotropic etching of silicon and corner lithography. The permeation of oxygen and carbon dioxide through the fractal membrane is measured and validated theoretically. The results show high permeation flux due to low resistance to mass transfer because of the hierarchical branched structure of the fractals, and the high number of the apertures. This approach offers an advantage of high surface to volume ratio and pores in the range of nanometers. The obtained results show that the gas permeation through the nanonozzles in the form of fractal geometry is remarkably enhanced in comparison to the commonly-used polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) dense membrane. The developed chip is envisioned as an interesting alternative for gas-liquid contactors that require harsh conditions, such as microreactors or microdevices, for energy applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanonozzles; gas permeation; fractal geometry; corner lithography; integrated membrane chip nanonozzles; gas permeation; fractal geometry; corner lithography; integrated membrane chip
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Malankowska, M.; Schlautmann, S.; Berenschot, E.J.W.; Tiggelaar, R.M.; Pina, M.P.; Mallada, R.; Tas, N.R.; Gardeniers, H. Three-Dimensional Fractal Geometry for Gas Permeation in Microchannels. Micromachines 2018, 9, 45.

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