Special Issue "MFHS 2019"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Joost Lötters
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Affiliations 1: Integrated Devices and Systems (IDS), University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands Affiliations 2: Bronkhorst High-Tech BV, Nijverheidsstraat 1A, 7261 AK Ruurlo, The Netherlands
Interests: design, modeling, fabrication, and application of microfluidic handling systems; MEMS thermal and Coriolis flow sensors and controllers; MEMS pressure sensors; MEMS control valves; micromachined flow analysis systems; multiparameter flow measurement systems; micro Wobbe index meters
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will publish both selected papers from the 4th International Conference on Microfluidic Handling Systems (www.mfhs2019.org, 2–4 October, 2019, Enschede, The Netherlands) and external contributions. Manuscripts submitted to the journal Micromachines should be extended by at least 40% compared with that of the conference proceedings.

Worldwide, accurate handling—i.e., analysis, dosage, measurement and control—of small and extremely small mass flow rates of both gases and liquids is becoming more and more important, driven by numerous applications. Examples of economically and societally relevant applications are, e.g., improvement of medical infusion pump systems, nutrition supply and waste drainage in organ-on-a-chip systems, increasing the efficiency of processes that extract oil from oil wells (enhanced oil recovery), systems that measure the energy content (calorific value or Wobbe Index) of natural gas, biogas and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), monitoring of ground water pollution, improving semiconductor equipment for e.g. etching and deposition, and the production of pharmaceuticals by means of flow chemistry.

Whether in analytical instrumentation, flow chemistry, energy, semiconductor industry, food and beverage or life sciences – microfluidic handling systems are facing four major trends: (1) a need for accurate measurement and calibration facilities; (2) a need for complete functional systems rather than for the individual components; (3) commercialisation of academic research results, and (4) standardisation of fabrication technology & materials, modules & connections, and quality assurance & test equipment. In the future, the impact of this field of research may become bigger and potentially large target markets may arise, especially when spin-off companies start manufacturing and selling their products, systems or pilot plants.

The 4th International Conference on Microfluidic Handling Systems (MFHS 2019) focuses mainly on the technology, components, devices and systems that enable the application in microfluidic systems. We invite submission of papers on systems and devices for accurate handling (e.g., analysis, dosing, measurement and control) of (extremely) small mass flow rates of both gases and liquids, and corresponding measurement and control principles, including but not limited to:

  • Thermal, ultrasonic, Coriolis and other principles for flow measurement
  • Piezo-electric, electromagnetic, electrostatic and other principles for flow control
  • Electronic instrumentation, closed loop control systems
  • Innovative methods in calibration equipment and methodology
  • Micro- and nanomachining, 3D printing and other fabrication technologies
  • Device or wafer level characterization, packaging and testing
  • Application proposals

The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Sensors: Flow, pressure, viscosity, temperature, conductivity, heat capacity, density, pH, refractive index
  • Actuators: Valves, pumps, mixers, dispensers, droplet generators
  • Interfaces: Electronic instrumentation, fluidic connections, assembly, packaging, testing
  • Fluidic control systems: Mass flow controllers, precision mixing, dosing and dispensing, calibration, multiparameter systems, evaporators
  • Applications: Gas chromatographs, liquid chromatographs, medical analyses, micro reaction systems, bio-analytical systems, flow chemistry, organ-on-a-chip, production of pharmaceuticals

Prof. Dr. Joost Lötters
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
μ-Coriolis Mass Flow Sensor with Resistive Readout
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020184 - 11 Feb 2020
Abstract
This paper presents a μ -Coriolis mass flow sensor with resistive readout. Instead of measuring a net displacement such as in a capacitive readout, a resistive readout detects the deformation of the suspended micro-fluidic channel. It allows for actuation at much higher amplitudes [...] Read more.
This paper presents a μ -Coriolis mass flow sensor with resistive readout. Instead of measuring a net displacement such as in a capacitive readout, a resistive readout detects the deformation of the suspended micro-fluidic channel. It allows for actuation at much higher amplitudes than for a capacitive readout, resulting in correspondingly larger Coriolis forces in response to fluid flow. A resistive readout can be operated in two actuation vibrational modes. A capacitive readout can only be operated in one of these two modes, which is more sensitive to external disturbances. Three types of devices have been realized. We present measurement results for all three devices. One device clearly outperforms the other two, with a flow sensitivity of 2.22 / ( g / h ) and a zero-flow stability of 0.02 g / h over 30 min. Optimization of the metal strain gauges and/or implementation of poly-Silicon strain gauges could further improve performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MFHS 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Proportional Microvalve Using a Unimorph Piezoelectric Microactuator
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020130 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2020
Abstract
Microvalves are important flow-control devices in many standalone and integrated microfluidic applications. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based pneumatic microvalves are commonly used but they generally require large peripheral connections that decrease portability. There are many alternatives found in the literature that use Si-based microvalves, but variants [...] Read more.
Microvalves are important flow-control devices in many standalone and integrated microfluidic applications. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based pneumatic microvalves are commonly used but they generally require large peripheral connections that decrease portability. There are many alternatives found in the literature that use Si-based microvalves, but variants that can throttle even moderate pressures (1) tend to be bulky (cm-range) or consume high power. This paper details the development of a low-power, normally-open piezoelectric microvalve to control flows with a maximum driving pressure of 1, but also retain a small effective form-factor of 5x5x1.8. A novel combination of rapid prototyping methods like stereolithography and laser-cutting have been used to realize this device. The maximum displacement of the fabricated piezoelectric microactuator was measured to be 8.5 at 150. The fabricated microvalve has a flow range of 0–90 at 1 inlet pressure. When fully closed, a leakage of 0.8 open-flow was observed with a power-consumption of 37.5. A flow resolution of 0.2— De-ionized (DI) water was measured at 0.5 pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MFHS 2019)
Open AccessArticle
A Versatile Capacitive Sensing Platform for the Assessment of the Composition in Gas Mixtures
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020116 (registering DOI) - 21 Jan 2020
Abstract
The energy market is facing a major transition, in which natural gas and renewable gasses will play an important role. However, changing gas sources and compositions will force the gas transporters, gas engine manufacturers, and gas grid operators to monitor the gas quality [...] Read more.
The energy market is facing a major transition, in which natural gas and renewable gasses will play an important role. However, changing gas sources and compositions will force the gas transporters, gas engine manufacturers, and gas grid operators to monitor the gas quality in a more intensive way. This leads to the need for lower cost, smaller, and easy to install gas quality sensors. A new approach is proposed in this study that is based on the chemical interactions of the various gas components and responsive layers applied to an array of capacitive interdigitated electrodes. For Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), containing a relative high concentration of higher hydrocarbons, an array of ten capacitive chips is proposed, that is sufficient to calculate the full composition, and can be used to calculate energy parameters, such as Wobbe Index, Calorific Value, and Methane Number. A first prototype was realized that was small enough to be inserted in low and medium pressure gas pipes and LNG engine fuel lines. Adding the pressure and temperature data to the chip readings enables the determination of the concentrations of the various alkanes, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, including small fluctuations in water vapor pressure. The sensitivity and selectivity of the new sensor is compared to a compact analyzer employing tunable filter infrared spectrometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MFHS 2019)
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