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Case Number 097023 - Electromagnetically Driven Microvalve and Micropump on a Silicon/Glass Chip

Description:  There has been a large demand for a micropump with a high flow rate and low driving voltage. Most micropumps which have been realized to date suffer from high driving voltages to attain high flow rates depending on their application targets. Specifically, if a micro-fluid regulation system is sharing a power supply other application which require less than 3-5 volts, low driving voltage of micropumps is critically essential in practical applications. Furthermore, micro fluid regulation systems for biomedical or biological applications such as portable or implantable drug delivery systems require low driving voltages, since electrical breakdown hazard from the high voltages is seriously concerned due to its safety issues.
A new electromagnetically driven microvalve and micropump on a silicon/glass wafer has been designed, fabricated, and tested. This microvalve and micropump are composed of two components: a semi-encapsulated planar inductor for electromagnets on a Pyrex glass wafer and an actuator for valves and pumps on a silicon wafer.
In this invention, a new proto-type magnetic microactuator has been proposed and realized using both bulk micromachining and wafer bonding techniques, where magnetic forces can be produced between the electromagnets and the permalloy films plated on the silicon diaphragm. When a voltage is applied to the inductor mounted on a glass wafer, the pmerally/silicon diaphragm is attracted to the upper electromagnet, lifting the valve bosses and thus opening the valve. A series of these activators can be used to provide peristaltic pumping action.

  • Low driving voltage can be used in applications for implantable drug delivery systems.
  • Flow directions can be changed by control of the exciting sequence of the valves and the pump chamber.
  • Stronger and ore precise sensory outputs for microactuated sensors and lower driving voltage make exceptional performance possible.
  • Unique fabrication technique allows flexibility in realizing various MEMS devices. Components may be separately fabricated using conventional technology.

There is an issued US patent, 6,116,863 - Electromagnetically driven microactuated device and method of making the same.

For more information please contact Geoffrey Pinski at 513-558-5696 or

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