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Micromachines, Volume 11, Issue 3 (March 2020) – 105 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A contribution to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic, the paper by Trieu Nguyen, Dang D. Bang and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of Random Microlens Array for Laser Beam Homogenization with High Efficiency
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030338 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 199
Abstract
The miniaturized and integrated microlens array (MLA) can effectively achieve the beam homogenization, compactness and miniaturization of laser systems. When the high-coherence laser beam is homogenized by means of using the MLA, interference fringes will occur in the homogenized light spot due to [...] Read more.
The miniaturized and integrated microlens array (MLA) can effectively achieve the beam homogenization, compactness and miniaturization of laser systems. When the high-coherence laser beam is homogenized by means of using the MLA, interference fringes will occur in the homogenized light spot due to the periodicity of the MLA, which seriously affects the uniformity of the homogenized light spot. To solve this problem, a novel random microlens array (rMLA) structure was proposed for the purpose of achieving beam homogenization. The coherence in the homogenization process is suppressed by means of breaking the periodicity of the MLA. The homogenized light spot with a high energy utilization is then obtained accordingly. In the fabrication process, a clever method of combining chemical etching with lithography technology is performed to fabricate a honeycomb rMLA and a rectangular rMLA. The experimental results show that the energy utilization rate of the two types of the rMLAs is about 90%, and the uniformity of the homogenized light spots generated by the honeycomb rMLA and the rectangular rMLA are more than 80% and 85%, respectively. Meanwhile, fully cost-effective fabrication is possible to be realized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beam Steering via Arrayed Micromachines)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on a Micro-Processing Technology for Fabricating Complex Structures in Single-Crystal Quartz
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030337 (registering DOI) - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 202
Abstract
Single-crystal quartz material is widely applied in the manufacture of resonators and sensors, but it is difficult to process because of its high hardness. A novel way to fabricate single-crystal quartz structures is proposed in this paper; the method includes quartz-on-silicon (QoS) technology [...] Read more.
Single-crystal quartz material is widely applied in the manufacture of resonators and sensors, but it is difficult to process because of its high hardness. A novel way to fabricate single-crystal quartz structures is proposed in this paper; the method includes quartz-on-silicon (QoS) technology and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching, which makes it feasible to fabricate complex structures with crystal quartz. The QoS method encompasses the bonding of silicon and quartz, followed by the thinning and polishing of quartz, which can enable the fabrication of an ultra-thin quartz wafer on silicon. In this way, instead of the conventional wet etching with hydrofluoric acid, the quartz layer can be easily etched using the ICP dry-etching method. Then, the structure of the pure quartz material is obtained by removing the silicon wafer. In addition, the silicon layer can be processed into the appropriate structure. This aspect overcomes the difficulty of processing a complex structure of single-crystal quartz with different crystal orientations. Thin single-crystal quartz wafers of Z-cut with a thickness of less than 40 μm were obtained by using this method, and a complex three-dimensional structure with an 80 μm width was also acquired by the ICP etching of the quartz wafer. The method can be applied to make both crystal-oriented quartz-based sensors and actuators, such as quartz resonant accelerometers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Design of Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Frequency Multipliers Based on Gallium Arsenide Material
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030336 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
A global design method for a terahertz monolithic integrated frequency multiplier is proposed. Compared with a traditional independent design, the method in this paper adopts overall optimization and combines the device with the circuit design. The advantage is that it provides a customized [...] Read more.
A global design method for a terahertz monolithic integrated frequency multiplier is proposed. Compared with a traditional independent design, the method in this paper adopts overall optimization and combines the device with the circuit design. The advantage is that it provides a customized design for frequency multipliers according to specifications. On the basis of the gallium arsenide process of the Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, two types of Schottky diodes have been developed to meet the needs of different designs. On the one hand, a Schottky diode with a 3 μm junction’s diameter was used in the design of the 200 GHz balanced doubler and, on the other hand, a diode with a 5 μm diameter was used in the 215 GHz unbalanced tripler. The measured results indicated that the output power of the doubler was more than 250 μW at 180~218 GHz, and the maximum was 950 μW at 198 GHz when driven with 12.3 mW, whereas that of the tripler was above 5 mW at 210~218 GHz and the maximum exceeded 10 mW. Such frequency multiplier sources could be widely used in terahertz imaging, radiometers, and so on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section D:Materials and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying Foil Queue Microelectrode with Tapered Structure in Micro-EDM to Eliminate the Step Effect on the 3D Microstructure’s Surface
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030335 (registering DOI) - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 151
Abstract
When using foil queue microelectrodes (FQ-microelectrodes) for micro electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM), the processed results of each foil microelectrode (F-microelectrode) can be stacked to construct three-dimensional (3D) microstructures. However, the surface of the 3D microstructure obtained from this process will have a step [...] Read more.
When using foil queue microelectrodes (FQ-microelectrodes) for micro electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM), the processed results of each foil microelectrode (F-microelectrode) can be stacked to construct three-dimensional (3D) microstructures. However, the surface of the 3D microstructure obtained from this process will have a step effect, which has an adverse effect on the surface quality and shape accuracy of the 3D microstructures. To focus on this problem, this paper proposes to use FQ-microelectrodes with tapered structures for micro-EDM, thereby eliminating the step effect on the 3D microstructure’s surface. By using a low-speed wire EDM machine, a copper foil with thickness of 300 μm was processed to obtain a FQ-microelectrode in which each of the F-microelectrodes has a tapered structure along its thickness direction. These tapered structures could effectively improve the construction precision of the 3D microstructure and effectively eliminate the step effect. In this paper, the effects of the taper angle and the number of microelectrodes on the step effect were investigated. The experimental results show that the step effect on the 3D microstructure’s surface became less evident with the taper angle and the number of F-microelectrodes increased. Finally, under the processing voltage of 120 V, pulse width of 1 μs and pulse interval of 10 μs, a FQ-microelectrode (including 40 F-microelectrodes) with 10° taper angle was used for micro-EDM. The obtained 3D microstructure has good surface quality and the step effect was essentially eliminated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Frequency Response of Induced-Charge Electrophoretic Metallic Janus Particles
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030334 (registering DOI) - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 157
Abstract
The ability to manipulate and control active microparticles is essential for designing microrobots for applications. This paper describes the use of electric and magnetic fields to control the direction and speed of induced-charge electrophoresis (ICEP) driven metallic Janus microrobots. A direct current (DC) [...] Read more.
The ability to manipulate and control active microparticles is essential for designing microrobots for applications. This paper describes the use of electric and magnetic fields to control the direction and speed of induced-charge electrophoresis (ICEP) driven metallic Janus microrobots. A direct current (DC) magnetic field applied in the direction perpendicular to the electric field maintains the linear movement of particles in a 2D plane. Phoretic force spectroscopy (PFS), a phase-sensitive detection method to detect the motions of phoretic particles, is used to characterize the frequency-dependent phoretic mobility and drag coefficient of the phoretic force. When the electric field is scanned over a frequency range of 1 kHz–1 MHz, the Janus particles exhibit an ICEP direction reversal at a crossover frequency at ~30 kH., Below this crossover frequency, the particle moves in a direction towards the dielectric side of the particle, and above this frequency, the particle moves towards the metallic side. The ICEP phoretic drag coefficient measured by PFS is found to be similar to that of the Stokes drag. Further investigation is required to study microscopic interpretations of the frequency at which ICEP mobility switched signs and the reason why the magnitudes of the forward and reversed modes of ICEP are so different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachines for Dielectrophoresis)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Electrochemical Characterization of Spiral Electrochemical Notification Coupled Electrode (SENCE) Platform for Biosensing Application
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030333 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
C-reactive protein (CRP) is considered to be an important biomarker associated with many diseases. During any physiological inflammation, the level of CRP reaches its peak at 48 h, whereas its half-life is around 19 h. Hence, the detection of low-level CRP is an [...] Read more.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is considered to be an important biomarker associated with many diseases. During any physiological inflammation, the level of CRP reaches its peak at 48 h, whereas its half-life is around 19 h. Hence, the detection of low-level CRP is an important task for the prognostic management of diseases like cancer, stress, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and so on. There are various techniques available in the market to detect low-level CRP like ELISA, Western blot, etc. An electrochemical biosensor is one of the important miniaturized platforms which provides sensitivity along with ease of operation. The most important element of an electrochemical biosensor platform is the electrode which, upon functionalization with a probe, captures the selective antibody–antigen interaction and produces a digital signal in the form of potential/current. Optimization of the electrode design can increase the sensitivity of the sensor by 5–10-fold. Herein, we come up with a new sensor design called the spiral electrochemical notification coupled electrode (SENCE) where the working electrode (WE) is concentric in nature, which shows better response than the market-available standard screen-printed electrode. The sensor is thoroughly characterized using a standard Ferro/Ferri couple. The sensing performance of the fabricated platform is also characterized by the detection of standard H2O2 using a diffusion-driven technique, and a low detection limit of 15 µM was achieved. Furthermore, we utilized the platform to detect a low level (100 ng/mL) of CRP in synthetic sweat. The manuscript provides emphasis on the design of a sensor that can offer good sensitivity in electrochemical biosensing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors and MEMS-based Diagnostic Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Microfluidic Systems Applied in Solid-State Nanopore Sensors
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030332 (registering DOI) - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 183
Abstract
Microfluidic system, as a kind of miniature integrated operating platform, has been applied to solid-state nanopore sensors after many years of experimental study. In the process of introducing microfluidic into solid-state nanopore sensors, many novel device structures are designed due to the abundance [...] Read more.
Microfluidic system, as a kind of miniature integrated operating platform, has been applied to solid-state nanopore sensors after many years of experimental study. In the process of introducing microfluidic into solid-state nanopore sensors, many novel device structures are designed due to the abundance of analytes and the diversity of detection methods. Here we review the fundamental setup of nanopore-based microfluidic systems and the developments and advancements that have been taking place in the field. The microfluidic systems with a multichannel strategy to elevate the throughput and efficiency of nanopore sensors are then presented. Multifunctional detection represented by optical-electrical detection, which is realized by microfluidic integration, is also described. A high integration microfluidic system with nanopore is further discussed, which shows the prototype of commercialization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Microfluidic Devices 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Machining Errors on Optical Performance of Optical Aspheric Components in Ultra-Precision Diamond Turning
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030331 (registering DOI) - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Optical aspheric components are inevitably affected by various disturbances during their precision machining, which reduces the actual machining accuracy and affects the optical performance of components. In this paper, based on the theory of multi-body system, we established a machining error model for [...] Read more.
Optical aspheric components are inevitably affected by various disturbances during their precision machining, which reduces the actual machining accuracy and affects the optical performance of components. In this paper, based on the theory of multi-body system, we established a machining error model for optical aspheric surface machined by fast tool servo turning and analyzed the effect of the geometric errors on the machining accuracy of optical aspheric surface. We used the method of ray tracing to analyze the effect of the surface form distortion caused by the machining error on the optical performance, and identified the main machining errors according to the optical performance. Finally, the aspheric surface was successfully applied to the design of optical lens components for an aerial camera. Our research has a certain guiding significance for the identification and compensation of machining errors of optical components. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Integrated Raman Laser: A Review of the Last Two Decades
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030330 - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Important accomplishments concerning an integrated laser source based on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) have been achieved in the last two decades in the fields of photonics, microphotonics and nanophotonics. In 2005, the first integrated silicon laser based upon SRS was realized in the [...] Read more.
Important accomplishments concerning an integrated laser source based on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) have been achieved in the last two decades in the fields of photonics, microphotonics and nanophotonics. In 2005, the first integrated silicon laser based upon SRS was realized in the nonlinear waveguide. This breakthrough promoted an intense research activity addressed to the realization of integrated Raman sources in photonics microstructures, like microcavities and photonics crystals. In 2012, a giant Raman gain in silicon nanocrystals was measured for the first time. Starting from this impressive result, some promising devices have recently been realized combining nanocrystals and microphotonics structures. Of course, the development of integrated Raman sources has been influenced by the trend of photonics towards the nano-world, which started from the nonlinear waveguide, going through microphotonics structures, and finally coming to nanophotonics. Therefore, in this review, the challenges, achievements and perspectives of an integrated laser source based on SRS in the last two decades are reviewed, side by side with the trend towards nanophotonics. The reported results point out promising perspectives for integrated micro- and/or nano-Raman lasers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonlinear Photonics Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Measurement of the Imaginary Part of the Clausius-Mossotti Factor of Particle/Cell via Dual Frequency Electrorotation
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030329 (registering DOI) - 22 Mar 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
A simple and inexpensive method using planar electrodes was proposed for the measurement of the imaginary part of the Clausius-Mossotti factor, K i , of particle/cell for electrorotation (ER) and travelling wave dielectrophoresis (twDEP). It is based on the balance between the dielectrophoretic [...] Read more.
A simple and inexpensive method using planar electrodes was proposed for the measurement of the imaginary part of the Clausius-Mossotti factor, K i , of particle/cell for electrorotation (ER) and travelling wave dielectrophoresis (twDEP). It is based on the balance between the dielectrophoretic and viscous torques on a particle undergoing ER subject to dual frequency operation in an ER chamber. A four-phase ac voltage signal with a given frequency is applied for generating ER for measurement, and another two-phase signal is applied at a selected frequency for generating a negative dielectrophoretic force for confining the particle motion, instead of using laser tweezer or three-dimensional electrodes in the literature. Both frequencies can be applied to the same electrodes in a four-electrode ER system and to alternative different electrodes in an eight-electrode ER system, and both systems are capable for providing accurate measurement. The measurements were validated by comparing with the theoretical result using sephadex particles in KCl solution, and with the existing experimental results for various human cancer cells in medium with conductivity from 0.01–1.2 S/m, using ER with optical tweezer and dual frequency twDEP. Contrast between the ER and the twDEP methods (the current two available methods) was discussed and commented. The present method could provide measurement for wider frequency range and more accurate result near K i = 0, in comparison with the results using the twDEP method. However, the twDEP method could perform much more rapid measurement. Detailed forces and torque were calculated inside the ER chamber for understanding the physics and assessing the characteristics of the dual frequency ER method. This study is of academic interest as the torque in ER and the force in twDEP can be calculated only when K i is known. It also finds biomedical applications as the K i -spectra can be served as physical phenotypes for different cells, and can be applied for deriving dielectric properties of cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Microfluidic Devices 2019)
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Open AccessCommunication
Powder Filling and Sintering of 3D In-chip Solenoid Coils with High Aspect Ratio Structure
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030328 - 22 Mar 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
In this study, a 3D coil embedded in a silicon substrate including densely distributed through-silicon vias (TSVs) was fabricated via a rapid metal powder sintering process. The filling and sintering methods for microdevices were evaluated, and the effects of powder types were compared. [...] Read more.
In this study, a 3D coil embedded in a silicon substrate including densely distributed through-silicon vias (TSVs) was fabricated via a rapid metal powder sintering process. The filling and sintering methods for microdevices were evaluated, and the effects of powder types were compared. The parameters influencing the properties and processing speed were analyzed. The results showed that the pre-alloyed powder exhibited the best uniformity and stability when the experiment used two or more types of powders to avoid the segregation effect. The smaller the particle diameter, the better the inductive performance will be. The entire structure can be sintered near the melting point of the alloy, and increasing the temperature increases strength, while resulting in low resistivity. Finally, an 800-µm-high coil was fabricated. This process does not need surface metallization and seed layer formation. The forming process involves only sintering instead of slowly growing copper with a tiny current. Therefore, this process has advantages, such as a process time of 7 h, corresponding to an 84% reduction compared to current electroplating processes (45 h), and a 543% efficiency improvement. Thus, this process is more efficient, controllable, stable, and suitable for mass production of devices with flexible dimensions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Step Femtosecond Laser Stealth Dicing of Quartz
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030327 - 22 Mar 2020
Viewed by 198
Abstract
We report on a one-step method for cutting 250-µm-thick quartz plates using highly focused ultrashort laser pulses with a duration of 200 fs and a wavelength of 1030 nm. We show that the repetition rate, the scan speed, the pulse overlap and the [...] Read more.
We report on a one-step method for cutting 250-µm-thick quartz plates using highly focused ultrashort laser pulses with a duration of 200 fs and a wavelength of 1030 nm. We show that the repetition rate, the scan speed, the pulse overlap and the pulse energy directly influence the cutting process and quality. Therefore, a suitable choice of these parameters was necessary to get single-pass stealth dicing with neat and flat cut edges. The mechanism behind the stealth dicing process was ascribed to tensile stresses generated by the relaxation of the compressive stresses originated in the laser beam focal volume during irradiation in the bulk material. Such stresses produced micro-fractures whose controlled propagation along the laser beam path led to cutting of the samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends and Applications in Femtosecond Laser Micromachining)
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Open AccessReview
State-of-the-Art and Perspectives on Silicon Waveguide Crossings: A Review
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030326 (registering DOI) - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 216
Abstract
In the past few decades, silicon photonics has witnessed a ramp-up of investment in both research and industry. As a basic building block, silicon waveguide crossing is inevitable for dense silicon photonic integrated circuits and efficient crossing designs will greatly improve the performance [...] Read more.
In the past few decades, silicon photonics has witnessed a ramp-up of investment in both research and industry. As a basic building block, silicon waveguide crossing is inevitable for dense silicon photonic integrated circuits and efficient crossing designs will greatly improve the performance of photonic devices with multiple crossings. In this paper, we focus on the state-of-the-art and perspectives on silicon waveguide crossings. It reviews several classical structures in silicon waveguide crossing design, such as shaped taper, multimode interference, subwavelength grating, holey subwavelength grating and vertical directional coupler by forward or inverse design method. In addition, we introduce some emerging research directions in crossing design including polarization-division-multiplexing and mode-division-multiplexing technologies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Flow-Through Microfluidic Relative Permittivity Sensor
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030325 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 216
Abstract
In this paper, we present the design, simulation, fabrication and characterization of a microfluidic relative permittivity sensor in which the fluid flows through an interdigitated electrode structure. Sensor fabrication is based on an silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer where the fluidic inlet and [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present the design, simulation, fabrication and characterization of a microfluidic relative permittivity sensor in which the fluid flows through an interdigitated electrode structure. Sensor fabrication is based on an silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer where the fluidic inlet and outlet are etched through the handle layer and the interdigitated electrodes are made in the device layer. An impedance analyzer was used to measure the impedance between the interdigitated electrodes for various non-conducting fluids with a relative permittivity ranging from 1 to 41. The sensor shows good linearity over this range of relative permittivity and can be integrated with other microfluidic sensors in a multiparameter chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MFHS 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Electrophoretic Deposition of Vertical Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes with Nanoscopic Electrostatic Lenses
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030324 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 142
Abstract
Under certain conditions, electrophoretic deposition (EPD) of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) onto metal at the base of nanoscale insulating windows can result in a single SWCNT per window, bonded at one end to the metal. During EPD charge, buildup on the insulator creates [...] Read more.
Under certain conditions, electrophoretic deposition (EPD) of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) onto metal at the base of nanoscale insulating windows can result in a single SWCNT per window, bonded at one end to the metal. During EPD charge, buildup on the insulator creates electrostatic lenses at the windows that control the trajectory of the SWCNTs. The aim is to develop a reproducible process for deposition of individual vertically oriented SWCNTs into each window to enable novel devices. The length of the SWCNTs is shown to be the most critical parameter in achieving results that could be used for devices. In particular, single nanotube deposition in windows by EPD was achieved with SWCNTs with lengths on the order of the window depth. By performing current vs voltage (IV) measurements against a platinum wire in a phosphate buffer and by modeling the data, the presence of the nanotube can be detected, the contact interface can be studied, and the nanotube’s viability for device applications can be determined. These results provide a basis for process integration of vertical SWCNTs using EPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanowires and Nanoprobes – Functionalized Arrays)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical and Experimental Study of Microchannel Performance on Flow Maldistribution
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030323 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
Miniaturized heat exchangers are well known for their superior heat transfer capabilities in comparison to macro-scale devices. While in standard microchannel systems the improved performance is provided by miniaturized distances and very small hydraulic diameters, another approach can also be followed, namely, the [...] Read more.
Miniaturized heat exchangers are well known for their superior heat transfer capabilities in comparison to macro-scale devices. While in standard microchannel systems the improved performance is provided by miniaturized distances and very small hydraulic diameters, another approach can also be followed, namely, the generation of local turbulences. Localized turbulence enhances the heat exchanger performance in any channel or tube, but also includes an increased pressure loss. Shifting the critical Reynolds number to a lower value by introducing perturbators controls pressure losses and improves thermal efficiency to a considerable extent. The objective of this paper is to investigate in detail collector performance based on reduced-order modelling and validate the numerical model based on experimental observations of flow maldistribution and pressure losses. Two different types of perturbators, Wire-net and S-shape, were analyzed. For the former, a metallic wire mesh was inserted in the flow passages (hot and cold gas flow) to ensure stiffness and enhance microchannel efficiency. The wire-net perturbators were replaced using an S-shaped perturbator model for a comparative study in the second case mentioned above. An optimum mass flow rate could be found when the thermal efficiency reaches a maximum. Investigation of collectors with different microchannel configurations (s-shaped, wire-net and plane channels) showed that mass flow rate deviation decreases with an increase in microchannel resistance. The recirculation zones in the cylindrical collectors also changed the maldistribution pattern. From experiments, it could be observed that microchannels with S-shaped perturbators shifted the onset of turbulent transition to lower Reynolds number values. Experimental studies on pressure losses showed that the pressure losses obtained from numerical studies were in good agreement with the experiments (<4%). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selective Retrieval of Individual Cells from Microfluidic Arrays Combining Dielectrophoretic Force and Directed Hydrodynamic Flow
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030322 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Hydrodynamic-based microfluidic platforms enable single-cell arraying and analysis over time. Despite the advantages of established microfluidic systems, long-term analysis and proliferation of cells selected in such devices require off-chip recovery of cells as well as an investigation of on-chip analysis on cell phenotype, [...] Read more.
Hydrodynamic-based microfluidic platforms enable single-cell arraying and analysis over time. Despite the advantages of established microfluidic systems, long-term analysis and proliferation of cells selected in such devices require off-chip recovery of cells as well as an investigation of on-chip analysis on cell phenotype, requirements still largely unmet. Here, we introduce a device for single-cell isolation, selective retrieval and off-chip recovery. To this end, singularly addressable three-dimensional electrodes are embedded within a microfluidic channel, allowing the selective release of single cells from their trapping site through application of a negative dielectrophoretic (DEP) force. Selective capture and release are carried out in standard culture medium and cells can be subsequently mitigated towards a recovery well using micro-engineered hybrid SU-8/PDMS pneumatic valves. Importantly, transcriptional analysis of recovered cells revealed only marginal alteration of their molecular profile upon DEP application, underscored by minor transcriptional changes induced upon injection into the microfluidic device. Therefore, the established microfluidic system combining targeted DEP manipulation with downstream hydrodynamic coordination of single cells provides a powerful means to handle and manipulate individual cells within one device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachines for Dielectrophoresis)
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Open AccessArticle
Motion of a Legged Bidirectional Miniature Piezoelectric Robot Based on Traveling Wave Generation
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030321 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 163
Abstract
This article reports on the locomotion performance of a miniature robot that features 3D-printed rigid legs driven by linear traveling waves (TWs). The robot structure was a millimeter-sized rectangular glass plate with two piezoelectric patches attached, which allowed for traveling wave generation at [...] Read more.
This article reports on the locomotion performance of a miniature robot that features 3D-printed rigid legs driven by linear traveling waves (TWs). The robot structure was a millimeter-sized rectangular glass plate with two piezoelectric patches attached, which allowed for traveling wave generation at a frequency between the resonant frequencies of two contiguous flexural modes. As a first goal, the location and size of the piezoelectric patches were calculated to maximize the structural displacement while preserving a standing wave ratio close to 1 (cancellation of wave reflections from the boundaries). The design guidelines were supported by an analytical 1D model of the structure and could be related to the second derivative of the modal shapes without the need to rely on more complex numerical simulations. Additionally, legs were bonded to the glass plate to facilitate the locomotion of the structure; these were fabricated using 3D stereolithography printing, with a range of lengths from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm. The optimal location of the legs was deduced from the profile of the traveling wave envelope. As a result of integrating both the optimal patch length and the legs, the speed of the robot reached as high as 100 mm/s, equivalent to 5 body lengths per second (BL/s), at a voltage of 65 Vpp and a frequency of 168 kHz. The blocking force was also measured and results showed the expected increase with the mass loading. Furthermore, the robot could carry a load that was 40 times its weight, opening the potential for an autonomous version with power and circuits on board for communication, control, sensing, or other applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers: Materials, Devices and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Fabrication Process for Integration of Microwave Sensors in Microfluidic Channels
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030320 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 191
Abstract
This paper presents a novel fabrication process that allows integration of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microfluidic channels and metal electrodes on a wafer with a micrometer-range alignment accuracy. This high level of alignment accuracy enables integration of microwave and microfluidic technologies, and furthermore accurate microwave [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel fabrication process that allows integration of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microfluidic channels and metal electrodes on a wafer with a micrometer-range alignment accuracy. This high level of alignment accuracy enables integration of microwave and microfluidic technologies, and furthermore accurate microwave dielectric characterization of biological liquids and chemical compounds on a nanoliter scale. The microfluidic interface between the pump feed lines and the fluidic channels was obtained using magnets fluidic connection. The tube-channel interference and the fluidic channel-wafer adhesion was evaluated, and up to a pressure of 700 mBar no leakage was observed. The developed manufacturing process was tested on a design of a microwave-microfluidic capacitive sensor. An interdigital capacitor (IDC) and a microfluidic channel were manufactured with an alignment accuracy of 2.5 μm. The manufactured IDC sensor was used to demonstrate microwave dielectric sensing on deionized water and saline solutions with concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 2.5 M. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Fabrication for Life Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Gas–Wall and Gas–Gas Interactions on the Accommodation Coefficients for Rarefied Gases: A Molecular Dynamics Study
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030319 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 154
Abstract
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are conducted to determine energy and momentum accommodation coefficients at the interface between rarefied gas and solid walls. The MD simulation setup consists of two parallel walls, and of inert gas confined between them. Different mixing rules, as well [...] Read more.
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are conducted to determine energy and momentum accommodation coefficients at the interface between rarefied gas and solid walls. The MD simulation setup consists of two parallel walls, and of inert gas confined between them. Different mixing rules, as well as existing ab-initio computations combined with interatomic Lennard-Jones potentials were employed in MD simulations to investigate the corresponding effects of gas-surface interaction strength on accommodation coefficients for Argon and Helium gases on a gold surface. Comparing the obtained MD results for accommodation coefficients with empirical and numerical values in the literature revealed that the interaction potential based on ab-initio calculations is the most reliable one for computing accommodation coefficients. Finally, it is shown that gas–gas interactions in the two parallel walls approach led to an enhancement in computed accommodation coefficients compared to the molecular beam approach. The values for the two parallel walls approach are also closer to the experimental values. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Microfluidic In-Situ Measurement of Poisson’s Ratio of Hydrogels
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030318 (registering DOI) - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
Being able to precisely characterize the mechanical properties of soft microparticles is essential for numerous situations, from the understanding of the flow of biological fluids to the development of soft micro-robots. Here, we present a simple measurement technique for determining Poisson’s ratio of [...] Read more.
Being able to precisely characterize the mechanical properties of soft microparticles is essential for numerous situations, from the understanding of the flow of biological fluids to the development of soft micro-robots. Here, we present a simple measurement technique for determining Poisson’s ratio of soft micron-sized hydrogels in the presence of a surrounding liquid. This method relies on the measurement of the deformation, in two orthogonal directions, of a rectangular hydrogel slab compressed uni-axially inside a microfluidic channel. Due to the in situ character of the method, the sample does not need to be dried, allowing for the measurement of the mechanical properties of swollen hydrogels. Using this method, we determined Poisson’s ratio of hydrogel particles composed of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and varying solvents fabricated using a lithography technique. The results demonstrate, with high precision, the dependence of the hydrogel compressibility on the solvent fraction and character. The method is easy to implement and can be adapted for the measurement of a variety of soft and biological materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rheology and Complex Fluid Flows in Microfluidics)
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Open AccessArticle
A Simple and Robust Fabrication Process for SU-8 In-Plane MEMS Structures
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030317 - 18 Mar 2020
Viewed by 196
Abstract
In this paper, a simple fabrication process for SU-8 in-plane micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) structures, called “border-bulk micromachining”, is introduced. It aims to enhance the potential of SU-8 MEMS structures for applications such as low-cost/disposable microsystems and wearable MEMS. The fabrication process is [...] Read more.
In this paper, a simple fabrication process for SU-8 in-plane micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) structures, called “border-bulk micromachining”, is introduced. It aims to enhance the potential of SU-8 MEMS structures for applications such as low-cost/disposable microsystems and wearable MEMS. The fabrication process is robust and uses only four processing steps to fabricate SU-8 in-plane MEMS structures, simplifying the fabrication flow in comparison with other reported attempts. The whole fabrication process has been implemented on copper-polyimide composites. A new processing method enables the direct, laser-based micromachining of polyimide in a practical way, bringing in extra processing safety and simplicity. After forming the polymeric in-plane MEMS structures through SU-8 lithography, a copper wet etching masked by the SU-8 structure layers is carried out. After the wet etching, fabricated in-plane MEMS structures are suspended within an open window on the substrate, similar to the final status of in-plane MEMS devices made from industrial silicon micromachining methods (such as SOIMUMPS). The last step of the fabrication flow is a magnetron sputtering of aluminum. The border-bulk micromachining process has been experimentally evaluated through the fabrication and the characterization of simple in-plane electrically actuated MEMS test structures. The characterization results of these simple test structures have verified the following process qualities: controllability, reproducibility, predictability and general robustness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Based MEMS and Microfabrication II)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Superhydrophobic Surface on Titanium Alloy via Micro-Milling, Anodic Oxidation and Fluorination
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030316 (registering DOI) - 17 Mar 2020
Viewed by 219
Abstract
The superhydrophobic surface has a great advantage of self-cleaning, inhibiting bacterial adhesion, and enhancing anticoagulant properties in the field of biomedical materials. In this paper, a superhydrophobic surface was successfully prepared on titanium alloy via high-speed micro-milling, anodic oxidation and fluoroalkylsilane modification. The [...] Read more.
The superhydrophobic surface has a great advantage of self-cleaning, inhibiting bacterial adhesion, and enhancing anticoagulant properties in the field of biomedical materials. In this paper, a superhydrophobic surface was successfully prepared on titanium alloy via high-speed micro-milling, anodic oxidation and fluoroalkylsilane modification. The surface morphology was investigated by scanning electron microscope and a laser scanning microscope. The surface wettability was investigated through the sessile-drop method. Firstly, regular microgrooves were constructed by micro-milling. Then, nanotube arrays were fabricated by anodic oxidation. Afterwards, fluoroalkylsilane was used to self-assemble a monolayer on the surface with a composite micro/nanostructure. Compared to polished titanium samples, the modified samples exhibited superhydrophobic properties with the water contact angle (CA) of 153.7° and the contact angle hysteresis of 2.1°. The proposed method will provide a new idea for the construction of superhydrophobic titanium surgical instruments and implants in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultra Precision Technologies for Micromachining)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of a Microfluidic Gas-to-Liquid Interface for Extraction of Target Amphetamines and Precursors from Air Samples
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030315 - 17 Mar 2020
Viewed by 194
Abstract
The investigation of clandestine laboratories poses serious hazards for first responders, emergency services, investigators and the surrounding public due to the risk of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in the manufacture of illicit substances. A novel gas sampling interface using open [...] Read more.
The investigation of clandestine laboratories poses serious hazards for first responders, emergency services, investigators and the surrounding public due to the risk of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in the manufacture of illicit substances. A novel gas sampling interface using open microfluidic channels that enables the extraction of VOCs out of the gas phase and into a liquid, where it can be analysed by conventional detection systems, has recently been developed. This paper investigates the efficiency and effectiveness of such a gas-to-liquid (GTL) extraction system for the extraction of amphetamine-type substances (ATS) and their precursors from the vapour phase. The GTL interface was evaluated across a range of different ATS and their precursors (methamphetamine, dimethylamphetamine, N-formylmethamphetamine, benzaldehyde, phenyl-2-propanone, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine) at concentrations ranging between 10 and 32 mg m−3. These gas samples were produced by a gas generation system directly in Tedlar® bags and gas canisters for controlled volume sampling. When using gas sampled from Tedlar® bags, four of the seven compounds were able to be extracted by the GTL interface, with the majority of the VOCs having extraction yields between 0.005% and 4.5%, in line with the results from an initial study. When samples were taken from gas canisters, only benzaldehyde was able to be detected, with extraction efficiencies between 0.2% and 0.4%. A custom-built mount for the GTL interface helped to automate the extraction process, with the aim of increasing extraction efficiency or reducing variability. However, the extraction efficiency did not improve when using this accessory, but the procedure did become more efficient. The results from the study indicated that the GTL interface could be employed for the collection of gaseous ATS and incorporated into mobile detection systems for onsite collection and analysis of volatile compounds related to ATS manufacture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section C:Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Annular Surface Micromachining of Titanium Tubes Using a Magnetorheological Polishing Technique
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030314 - 17 Mar 2020
Viewed by 181
Abstract
In this study, a novel magnetorheological (MR) polishing device under a compound magnetic field is designed to achieve microlevel polishing of the titanium tubes. The polishing process is realized by combining the rotation motion of the tube and the reciprocating linear motion of [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel magnetorheological (MR) polishing device under a compound magnetic field is designed to achieve microlevel polishing of the titanium tubes. The polishing process is realized by combining the rotation motion of the tube and the reciprocating linear motion of the polishing head. Two types of excitation equipment for generating an appropriate compound magnetic field are outlined. A series of experiments are conducted to systematically investigate the effect of compound magnetic field strength, rotation speed, and type and concentration of abrasive particles on the polishing performance delivered by the designed device. The experiments were carried out through controlling variables. Before and after the experiment, the surface roughness in the polished area of the workpiece is measured, and the influence of the independent variable on the polishing effect is judged by a changing rule of surface roughness so as to obtain a better parameter about compound magnetic field strength, concentration of abrasive particles, etc. It is shown from experimental results that diamond abrasive particles are appropriate for fine finishing the internal surface of the titanium-alloy tube. It is also identified that the polishing performance is excellent at high magnetic field strength, fast rotation speed, and high abrasive-particle concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section D:Materials and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Driving Waveform Design of Electrowetting Displays Based on an Exponential Function for a Stable Grayscale and a Short Driving Time
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030313 (registering DOI) - 16 Mar 2020
Viewed by 213
Abstract
The traditional driving waveform of the electrowetting display (EWD) has many disadvantages, such as the large oscillation of the target grayscale aperture ratio and a long time for achieving grayscale. Therefore, a driving waveform based on the exponential function was proposed in this [...] Read more.
The traditional driving waveform of the electrowetting display (EWD) has many disadvantages, such as the large oscillation of the target grayscale aperture ratio and a long time for achieving grayscale. Therefore, a driving waveform based on the exponential function was proposed in this study. First, the maximum driving voltage value of 30 V was obtained by testing the hysteresis curve of the EWD pixel unit. Secondly, the influence of the time constant on the driving waveform was analyzed, and the optimal time constant of the exponential function was designed by testing the performance of the aperture ratio. Lastly, an EWD panel was used to test the driving effect of the exponential-function-driving waveform. The experimental results showed that a stable grayscale and a short driving time could be realized when the appropriate time constant value was designed for driving EWDs. The aperture ratio oscillation range of the gray scale could be reduced within 0.95%, and the driving time of a stable grayscale was reduced by 30% compared with the traditional driving waveform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachines for Dielectrophoresis)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Experimental Study of Double-Row Bow-Type Micro-Displacement Amplifier for Direct-Drive Servo Valves
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030312 - 16 Mar 2020
Viewed by 225
Abstract
Giant magnetostrictive actuators (GMA) are widely used in the field of servo valves, but the displacement of GMA is limited, which renders meeting the requirements of large flow direct-drive electro-hydraulic servo valves (DDV) difficult. In order to solve these problems, this study proposes [...] Read more.
Giant magnetostrictive actuators (GMA) are widely used in the field of servo valves, but the displacement of GMA is limited, which renders meeting the requirements of large flow direct-drive electro-hydraulic servo valves (DDV) difficult. In order to solve these problems, this study proposes a double-row bow-type micro-displacement amplifier (DBMA), used to increase output displacement of GMA to meet the requirements. This study, by static analysis, analyzes the force of a flexure hinge based on theoretical mechanics and material mechanics, derives the stiffness matrix of the flexure hinge by the influence coefficient method, establishes the pseudo-rigid model, and derives the amplification ratio of a DBMA. Also, by kinetic analysis, using Castigliano’s second theorem, a formula of equivalent stiffness and natural frequency of DBMA were derived and the influences of different parameters on them were analyzed, respectively. After that, we analyzed the amplifier using finite element method (FEM) simulation software and verified the model by manufacturing a prototype and building a test system. Theoretical calculations and experimental results showed that the amplification ratio of the DBMA fluctuated between 15.43 and 16.25. The natural frequency was about 305 Hz to 314 Hz and the response bandwidth was up to 300 Hz. The error among the theoretical, simulated, and experimental values was within 8%, supporting the accuracy of the model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Ammonium Tungsten Precursor Solution with the Modification of Glycerol on Wide Band Gap WO3 Thin Film and Its Electrochromic Properties
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030311 - 16 Mar 2020
Viewed by 224
Abstract
Tungsten trioxide (WO3) is a wide band gap semiconductor material, which is commonly not only used, but also investigated as a significant electrochromic layer in electrochromic devices. WO3 films have been prepared by inorganic and sol-gel free ammonium tungstate ((NH [...] Read more.
Tungsten trioxide (WO3) is a wide band gap semiconductor material, which is commonly not only used, but also investigated as a significant electrochromic layer in electrochromic devices. WO3 films have been prepared by inorganic and sol-gel free ammonium tungstate ((NH4)2WO4), with the modification of glycerol using the spin coating technique. The surface tension, the contact angle and the dynamic viscosity of the precursor solutions demonstrated that the sample solution with a 25% volume fraction of glycerol was optimal, which was equipped to facilitate the growth of WO3 films. The thermal gravimetric and differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC) analysis represented that the optimal sample solution transformed into the WO3 range from 220 °C to 300 °C, and the transformation of the phase structure of WO3 was taken above 300 °C. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectra analysis indicated that the composition within the film was WO3 above the 300 °C annealing temperature, and the component content of WO3 was increased with the increase in the annealing temperature. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern revealed that WO3 films were available for the formation of the cubic and monoclinic crystal structure at 400 °C, and were preferential for growing monoclinic WO3 when annealed at 500 °C. Atomic force microscope (AFM) images showed that WO3 films prepared using ammonium tungstate with modification of the glycerol possessed less rough surface roughness in comparison with the sol-gel-prepared films. An ultraviolet spectrophotometer (UV) demonstrated that the sample solution which had been annealed at 400 °C obtained a high electrochromic modulation ability roughly 40% at 700 nm wavelength, as well as the optical band gap (Eg) of the WO3 films ranged from 3.48 eV to 3.37 eV with the annealing temperature increasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide Bandgap Based Devices: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of Cavitation Characteristics of Nano-Fluid and Deionized Water in Micro-Channels
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030310 - 16 Mar 2020
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Hydrodynamic cavitation has been widely applied in micro-fluidic systems. Cavitating flow characteristics are closely related to the fluid properties. In this paper, the cavitation characteristics of Cu nano-fluid in micro-channels were numerically investigated and compared with those of the deionized (DI) water. The [...] Read more.
Hydrodynamic cavitation has been widely applied in micro-fluidic systems. Cavitating flow characteristics are closely related to the fluid properties. In this paper, the cavitation characteristics of Cu nano-fluid in micro-channels were numerically investigated and compared with those of the deionized (DI) water. The mathematical model was verified by comparing the numerical results with the experiment observation. The curved orifice (R = 0.3 mm) was found to have the highest efficiencies of cavitation for both fluids. With the increase of inlet pressure, cavitating jet lengths of the two fluids significantly increased. While, the cavitating jet length of the nano-fluid was shorter than that of the DI water at the same inlet pressure. The cavitation inception number of the DI water and nano-fluid were approximately 0.061 and 0.039, respectively. The results indicate that the nano-particles played negative effects on the cavitation inception. In addition, with the decrease of outlet pressure, the cavitation strength gradually increased and the mass flow rate remained nearly unchanged at the same time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of [email protected]@Ag3PO4 Ternary Heterojunction: Superhydrophilic Properties, Antireflection and Photocatalytic Properties
Micromachines 2020, 11(3), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11030309 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 233
Abstract
A ZnO seed layer was formed on the fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate by magnetron sputtering, and then a ZnO nanorod was grown on the ZnO seed layer by a hydrothermal method. Next, we prepared a single-crystal Ag seed layer by magnetron sputtering to [...] Read more.
A ZnO seed layer was formed on the fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate by magnetron sputtering, and then a ZnO nanorod was grown on the ZnO seed layer by a hydrothermal method. Next, we prepared a single-crystal Ag seed layer by magnetron sputtering to form a [email protected] composite heterostructure. Finally, Ag3PO4 crystals were grown on the Ag seed layer by a stepwise deposition method to obtain a [email protected]@Ag3PO4 ternary heterojunction. The composite heterostructure of the material has super strong hydrophilicity and can be combined with water-soluble pollutants very well. Besides, it has excellent anti-reflection performance, which can absorb light from all angles. When Ag exists in the heterojunction, it can effectively improve the separation of photo-generated electrons and holes, and improve the photoelectric conversion performance. Based on the above characteristics, this nano-heterostructure can be used in the fields of solar cells, sensors, light-emitting devices, and photocatalysis. Full article
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