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Published January 2000 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

MEMS flow sensors for nano-fluidic applications


This paper presents micromachined thermal sensors for measuring liquid flow rates in the nanoliter-per-minute range. The sensors use a boron-doped polysilicon thinfilm heater that is embedded in the silicon nitride wall of a microchannel. The boron doping is chosen to increase the heater's temperature coefficient of resistance within tolerable noise limits, and the microchannel is suspended from the substrate to improve thermal isolation. The sensors have demonstrated a flow rate resolution below 10 nL/min, as well as the capability for detecting micro bubbles in the liquid. Heat transfer simulation has also been performed to explain the sensor operation and yielded good agreement with experimental data.

Additional Information

© 2000 IEEE. Reprinted with Permission. Publication Date: 23-27 Jan. 2000. This work was sponsored by the Microsystems Technology Office of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA/MTO) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (USAF), under grant/contract number 49620-96-1-0376. The authors would like to thank Trevor Roper and Xuan-Qi Wang for their help with the process.

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