Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation on nitrogen and helium flow through microchannels etched in silicon with hydraulic diameters between 10 and 40 microns, and Reynolds numbers ranging from 0.3 to 600. The objectives of this research are (1) to fabricate microchannels with uniform surface roughness and local pressure measurement; (2) to determine the friction factor within the locally fully developed region of the microchannel; and (3) to evaluate the effect of surface roughness on momentum transfer by comparison with smooth microchannels. The friction factor results are presented as the product of friction factor and Reynolds number plotted against Reynolds number. The following conclusions have been reached in the present investigation: (1) microchannels with uniform corrugated surfaces can be fabricated using standard photolithographic processes; and (2) surface features with low aspect ratios of height to width have little effect on the friction factor for laminar flow in microchannels.

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