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A Hybrid Thermopneumatic and Electrostatic Microvalve with Integrated Position Sensing

Author(s): Joseph A. Potkay | Kensall D. Wise

Journal: Micromachines
ISSN 2072-666X

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 379;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: microvalve | thermopneumatic | electrostatic | low power | µGC | hybrid actuator

This paper presents a low-power hybrid thermopneumatic microvalve with an electrostatic hold and integrated valve plate position sensing. This combination of actuators in a single structure enables a high throw and force actuator with low energy consumption, a combination that is difficult to otherwise achieve. The completed 7.5 mm × 10.3 mm × 1.5 mm valve has an open flow rate of 8 sccm at 600 Pa, a leak rate of 2.2 × 10−3 sccm at 115 kPa, a open-to-closed fluidic conductance ratio of nearly one million, an actuation time of 430 ms at 250 mW, and a required power of 90 mW while closed. It additionally requires no power to open, and has a built-in capacitive position sensor with a sensitivity of 9.8 fF/kPa. The paper additionally presents analytical models of the valve components, design tradeoffs, and guidelines for achieving an optimized device.
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