A microfluidic flow sensor has been developed to precisely measure the flow rate in a micro/nanofluidic channel for lab-on-a-chip applications. Mixed electroosmotic and pressure driven microflows are investigated using this sensor. Our microflow sensor consists of two components: fluidic circuit and electronic circuit. The fluidic circuit is embedded into the microfluidic chip, which is formed during the microfabrication sequences. On the other hand, the electronic circuit is a microelectronic chip that works as a logical switch. We have tested the microflow sensor in a hybrid poly di-methyl-siloxane (PDMS)-glass microchip using de-ionized (DI) water. Softlithography techniques are used to form the basic microflow structure on a PDMS layer, and all sensing electrodes are deposited on a glass plate using sputtering technique. In this investigation, the microchannel thickness is varied between 3.5 and 10 microns, and the externally applied electric field is ranged between 100V/mm and 200V/mm. The thickness of the gold electrodes is kept below 100nm, and hence the flow disturbance due to the electrodes is very minimal. Fairly repeatable flow results are obtained for all the channel dimensions and electric fields. Moreover, for a particular electric field strength, there is an appreciable change in the flow velocity with the change of the channel thickness.

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